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Israel 112, Hagel 61, Chuck Hagel 46, Us 43, United States 31, U.s. 26, Iran 26, Afghanistan 19, Iraq 19, Mccain 12, Pentagon 12, America 11, Inhofe 11, Panetta 10, Hezbollah 10, The Navy 9, Pakistan 9, John Mccain 9, Chuck 9, Syria 8,
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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    January 31, 2013
    12:00 - 5:00pm EST  

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clear of my strong support for israel. >> senator, i heard you say when you discussed , this in the end you were -- when it comes to declaring war. is that right? >> that's exactly what i am say. this was the point. and again, i say it like i have in answering some of the other questions. it wasn't the question of the objective. i mean, i shared the objective, and i expect the others that supported the resolution objected. but as jim webb made the case and senator webb was an individual that had considerable experience in this business. he had been secretary of the navy under ronald regan and assistant secretary of defense
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under ronald regan and one of the most decorated veterans of vietnam. united states senator. celebrated author. lawyer. and i thought he made a pretty strong, persuasive case. so did many of us. >> let's turn to cybersecurity. i was pleased that you mentioned cyber security in your initial remarks. they have moved expand its cyber security efforts. i have to talk about colorado. the air force academy is well positioned to train those. would you talk a little more on your take on cyber security and what sort of resources we need. >> i've been to those facilities in colorado a few times and don't know as much about them as you do, but i am familiar with them. they are essential to our
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national security. cyber, i believe represents as big a threat to the security of this country as any one specific threat. for all the reasons this committee understands. it's an insidious quiet, kind of a threat that we have never quite seen before. it can paralyze a nation in a second. not just a power grid or banking system. but it can knock out satellites. it can take down computers on all our carrier battle ships and do tremendous damage to our national security apparatus. that is the larger threat. but when you start defining it down, this body, i know. i watched it. it went through a pretty agonizing three months at the end of 2012 trying to find a
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bill they could agree on, on cyber. i know or i believe the congress will come back at it in this new congress. i think you must, and you know that. because we have different intergovernmental offices. home security, d.o.d. where is the capacity? where are the budgets? where are the authorities? this is law enforcement. privacy. business. a lot of complications that we've really never had to face before on other national defense threats to this country. so cyber will be an area that we'll continue to focus on. we must. and it's an area that i will put a high priority on if i am confirmed to be secretary of defense. >> senator in the 2013 ndaa, there's a provision that compels to -- religious blofes.
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i am concerned this could lead to misguided claims to discriminate against lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members with certain briefs. the department of defense will not condone discriminatory actions against good order or otherwise violate military codes of conduct. will you ensure the department of defense in accommodating religious beliefs or other beliefs does not constant constitute harm toos? >> i will faithfully, diligently enforce our laws. all men and women deserve the same rights and i can assure you that will be a high
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priority that enforce and assure that through the entire chain of command and accountability. >> thank you, senator hagel. i look forward to the second round of questions. it's now afternoon. thank you. >> thank you senator. senator wicker? >> let me just follow up on that. does that mean a chaplain would have to perform a same-sex marriage in your view if he objected based on conscience? >> well i think the pentagon regulations show that same-sex marriage is legal in nine states. >> would a chaplain be able to bow out of that procedure based on conscience? >> certainly. what we don't want, though, is -- senator his point is for someone to be denied to be married in a chapel or a facility and so on. but certainly as a matter of
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conscience, yes. what i'm talking about is strict interpretation of defending the law which defends rights. >> thank you for clarifying that and thank you for calling me early on. we had our conversation on january 8, and i appreciated that opportunity. you just said that your statements over time have been -- have gotten a lot more attention than you ever dreamed possible. that is entirely appropriate in this context. chairman levin mentioned that in his opening statement that in speaking your mind you had said several things that caused him concern, and he asked you about that. senator inhofe said several of your statements included what he called policy reversals based on expedient as i.
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you and i talked about two of these topics during our conversation. and one of them was in regard to sanctions against iran. you told me in our conversation that you opposed unilateral sanctions because they don't work and they isolate the united states. indeed you had made that statement tuesday. the omaha paper. i had not supported unilateral sanctions because when it's us alone they don't work and they just isolate the united states. in the omaha paper. i'll have to say that that statement seems to be in direct contradiction to your letter to senator boxer one week later. when you told her -- and i quote, i agree that with iran's
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continued rejection of overtures, sanctions both multilat lath ral and unilateral may be necessary. now a week before that, you said that you have opposed them because they don't work. senator levin mentioned in his statement that he disagrees with that. he believes they do work. you gave him an answer to that statement, and we have it on the record. but let me just suggest to you senator that if words have meaning, there's no two ways about it, the statement that you gave in the omaha paper and that you gave to me the following day is substantially and substantively different from what you wrote to senator boxer a week later. the office of secretary of defense is one of the most powerful positions in the
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country and arguably in the world, and this official, whoever he or she is, must lead with clarity and precision, and people around the world need to rely on the clear meaning of the words of the secretary of defense. now, the other thing we discussed that gave me concern during our conversation on january 8 was your statement about the jewish lobby. and you told me that you had apologized for using that terminology. and you retracted the use of the term jewish lobby. what you said was the jewish lobby inintimidate dates a lot of people up here. this was in a book an interview that you gave to aaron david miller. and you said, i've always argued against some of the dumb things they do, because i don't
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think it's in the interest of israel. here's my problem with your position at this point. you have corrected the term jewish lobby. and i assume now the correct term would be israel lobby or israeli lobby. do you still stand by your statement that they succeed in this town, that they succeed in this town because of intimidation, and that it amounts to us -- causing us to do dumb things? because senator, you are here today as a potential secretary of defense, and it would seem to me that however you characterize them, you have suggested that there is an effective lobby out there, whether you call them the jewish lobby, the israeli lobby or israel lobby and that they
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succeed on doing dumb things through intimidation and that u.s. policy has been the wrong approach, because the intimidation has worked. so when you talked about the jewish lobby, were you talking about apack? minor pack? christians united or israel? and do you still believe that their success in this town is because of intimidation and that they are, as you stated, urging upon our government that we do dumb things? >> well, first, i have never been accused of political expediatrician yen cri. -- expediatricianian cri. probably got me in some trouble, senator. second, address the last comment and we'll go back to
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sanctions. i've already said i regret referencing the jewish lobby. i should have said pro israel lobby. i think it's the only time on the record that i've ever said that. now, you all have done a lot of work with my record, and yes, it's appropriate, by the way. any nominee's record, what he or she thinks, says, does, absolutely. i was on your side of the -- for 12 years, so i understand that and that responsibility. so i don't have any problem with that. as i've already noted that i should have used another term, and i'm sorry, and i regret it. the use of intimidation. i should have used influence. i think would have been more appropriate. we were talking about in that
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book, and you've evidently read it aaron david miller's book and by the way, it's a book "much to promised land," he has spoken out directly in the last few weeks, written an op-ed about my opinion because it's noten a lot of attention, but it's been quite favorable to me and said much of it was taken out of context and was offended by those words. those of you who know aaron david miller, you know he is jewish and a highly-respected individual and also says in that interview, which is a fairly short interview mentions that i am a strong supporter of israel. that's in the interview. so i think that says something. i should not have said dumb or
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stupid. because i understand and appreciate there are different views on these things. we were talking about israel. we were talking about the middle east. we are -- we were not talking about armeinya or turkey or the banking influence. that's what the context of my comments were about. on your point on the conversations and the quote. a couple of points. let's go back to the ilsa vote. about the original vote during the clinton administration. and connect that to a comment i made in the world herald about they don't work.
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they are ineffective. and by the way, i've already noted for the record here that i have supported and voted for some unilateral sanctions. i think i noted three specific ones that i recall. but on your specific questions about the specific comment. just to give you an example of what i was talking about. you were not in the senate at the time. some were. but those who were here in the senate might recall the european union's reaction to that ilsa act. i was not in the senate when that was voted on original, so i didn't have a vote. but in 1988 the european union passed a resolution against the united states and threatened to take the united states to the world trade organization. as a consequence, secretary all bright had to get into this and as a consequence to that
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president clinton had to sign a waiver to allow a french oil company not to be part of that u.s. unilateral waiver. now, i'm not suggesting the united states action should be hostage to the european union or any other country but what i am suggesting is many times there are consequences to these actions. now every senator has their own position on these and will exercise their own judgment as they should and cast their own vote. so i don't think necessarily that there was a disconnect from what i said in the world herald to where i've been on international sanctions as to your specific point about supporting unilateral sagses as well as -- sanctions as well as international sanctions in a letter to senator boxer. it is a different situation to
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start with. we already have very effective sanctions on iran. >> are you saying those two statements don't contradict each other? the one to the omaha paper and the one to senator boxer? >> let me finish if i could, senator, my second point. my second point is this. where we are with iran today, the international sanctions that have been placed on iran, that puts iran, and the united states in a far different place. than where we were in 2000 or 1991 or -- or in 1998 or 2001. when i did not support it and the bush administration didn't either. they didn't want a five-year re-imposition on ilsa. my point in making where we are
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today connecting that to unilateral sanctions, then we've got a different situation. unilateral sanctions, because we've already got strong international sanctions, should be considered. i think the president is right to consider those. i would support that. because it's different than in 2001 or 1998. >> thank you senator. senator hagen? >> senator hagel, thank you for being here and for your service in our military and service in the u.s. senate and i also want to thank your wife and your family for standing with you today. you played an important role in supporting vietnam veterans affected by the exposure of agent orange. i've been involved in a similar set of circumstances at camp lejeune, and they continue to
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look at water contamination and the families and service men stationed at the base in the 1980's that may have been exposed to the harmful development of cancers. the quest for answers looking into this has been long and drawn out and men, women and children were dying and/or going broke paying out of pocket for their treatment while they were waiting for these various studies we in congress took action last year in the house and the senate, passed a bill that will provide for treatment of veterans and their family members through the v.a. and i continue to believe the families of those stationed at camp lejeune during those time periods deserve answers from the government about who was exposed and what impact that might have had on their health and what the government knew about this and i have been
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fighting with other senators on a bipartisan basis and along the way progress has been slowed by endless bureaucratic delays and obstacles. my question to you is do you employee that these marines and families deserve complete answers about the water contamination that occurred at camp lejeune, and if so would you pledge to work with us to unblock the delays that hinder the pursuit for families. >> you will note we had a long conversation about this. i committed to you in your office and i will make this commitmently do that. there should never, ever be a question about health and the safety and the environment that we put our men and women and their families in when we ask them to make sacrifices to serve this country, and i am
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committed to do that, and we will have further conversations. >> i know you have answered a number of questions about israel already today, but i do have one i want to ask you also. there is a special and historic bond between the u.s. and israel. and i am personally committed to israel's security and identity as a jewish state. when we met earlier i was pleased to hear you agree and also support a two-state solution and oppose any unilateral declaration of a palestinian state. we also discussed the need for a strong military and intelligence engagement between the u.s. and israel. >> just last fall i was in israel and i have spoken with senior military officials from both countries and i have continually heard the ties between our military and our intelligence organization has never been stronger. if confirmed, do you intend to
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maintain this close relationship and do you have any idea for how we can further strengthen this coordination? >> well, i once again reaffirm the commitment that i made to you, to this committee. i absolutely support the continuation and the strengthening of our relationship with israel. as has been noted before in my book. a chapter i have on israel. i talk about the special and historic relationship between the united states and israel. it is critically important that the quality tate i have military edge that we have assured israel since 1948, be maintain andaman enhanced. the iron dome is i think but one example. the latest military exercise we
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had with the israelis last fall -- challenge. it was the largest military exercise between our two countries in the history of our two countries. i think our intelligence agencies are working closer and are stronger and more coordinated than ever before. i think this president has done as much to support israel as any president as i mentioned earlier, since harry trueman, and i would look forward to continuing to follow those policies and enhance those policies. >> thank you. i wanted to answer a question on sequest ration. stopping se quest ration from occurring is -- in carolina we have two military installations and over 100,000 active service members in my state, and i do
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believe these cuts will impair our readiness and defer necessary maintenance that will help keep our troops safe and delay research and procurement as well as stunt our economic recovery that the time. i don't believe we can allow these cuts to move forward. congress needs to work on a bipartisan basis on a balanced flan will help eliminate this threat of sequest ration. also we have to reduce our areas of -- in our national defense. when we spoke earlier i was pleased to hear you did not support these indiscriminate, unprioritized cuts that sequestration would cause. if allowed to take effect, how would sequestration impact the ability to meet the future threats and challenges? as i shared with you i chaired the subcommittee on the threats
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and capabilities. so i'm particularly interested in your thoughts. you were commenting on the cyber issues airforce basely being considered in the emerging threats and capability. so my question is what impact do you believe that these cuts would have on our service members and their families at home and abroad and in particular, the cuts in the sequestration, how would this impact areas such as cyber security and the other areas? >> well, first, as we have said this morning and you know the chiefs made very clear, secretary pennetta. there would be serious consequences to the management of our defense department and our ability to have the flexibility and make the decisions not just for the -- but for the future. when you hang that kind of
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uncertainty over any institution, but especially the institution charged with national security in our country, it's very dangerous. readiness is obviously deemed number one priority. and we'll continue to do that. the changes have already started to work through all this and in some of the public statements they have made, we are preparing for that. they will be prepared if in the teevepbt sequestration does take effect, we'll be ready to deal with it. but this is going to be very difficult. and we talked a little earlier here this morning about we're going to have to reduce training, flying time. but i think the american people do need to be reassured that secretary pennetta and the security of this country is not going to be in jeopardy. but it's going to be difficult
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and it's going to affect longer-term type of planning. but make no mistake if this happens it's going to be a severe problem. >> my time is up. thank you for your comments. >> we're going to work through the vote going on now but we're going to take a 10-minute recess right now and come right back and then we're going to call on senator aha and senator mansion. i urge them to vote and come back. we will now recess for 10 minutes.
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>> for a short break, about a 15-minute break in this senate
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confirmation hearing for chuck hagel to be the new defense secretary replacing the outgoing pennetta. they are expected to go most of the day. at the end of this hearing we will open our phone lines to get your reaction. a 15-minute break, the first break of the day in this hearing. >> while this break is under way, the associated press has twhrin short story about this hearing, republican senator
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john mccain has been tangling with him over the iraq war and said his answers could affect whether he votes for or against the former republican senator which was president obama's choice and they pressed hagel whether he was right or wrong to the influx of 30,000 troops. hagel said iraq took the u.s. focus off afghanistan. here's a portion of their conversation during this hearing. or? opposed? the motion carries. thank you. senator mccain? >> thank you. i'm pleased to see an old friend here before the committee, especially pleased to see senator warner and senator nunn
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, two senators who have contributed greatly to the defense. these questions are not reasonable people disagreeing, these are fundamental disagreements. our concerns pertain to your final judgment and world view on areas of national security, including security in the middle east. with that in mind, let me begin with your opposition to the surge in iraq. 2006, republicans lost the election and we began the surge. he wrote a piece in the "washington post" -- leaving iraq honorably. he said it's not in the national interest for the u.s. to deepen its military involvement. in january 2007, in a rather bizarre exchange with secretary rice in the foreign relations committee after some nonsense about syria and crossing the
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border into iran and syria because of the surge, and a reference to cambodia in 1970, you said "when you set in motion the kind of policy the president is talking about here, it's very dangerous. i think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since the vietnam. if it is carried out, i will resist it." the question continued on for months and months talking about what a disaster the surge would be even when it was clear the surge was succeeding. in march 2008, you said "the term quagmires could apply. some reject that term, but if that is not a quagmire, what is?
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even as late as august 29, 2011, in an interview with the "financial times" -- you said i disagree with president obama and his decision to surge in iraq as i did with president obama. do you stand by those comments? >> senator, i stand by them because i made them. >> were you right? where you write in your assessment? >> i would defer to the judgment of history to assert -- to sort that out. >> the committee deserves to know whether you are right or wrong about the search. >> i will explain why -- >> i want to know if you are right or wrong. it's a direct question. >> the surge assisted in the objective. >> will you please answer the question -- were you correct or incorrect when he said the
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surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam? were you correct or incorrect? >> my reference -- >> are you going to answer the question? were you right or wrong? that's a straightforward question. answer whether you are right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate. >> i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer. >> let the record show he refuses to answer the question. please go ahead. >> if you would like me to explain -- >> i would like an answer, yes or no. >> i'm not going to give you a yes or no. it's far more complicated than that. i will defer that judgment to history. as to the comment i made about the most dangerous foreign policy decision since vietnam, that was about not just the
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surge, but the overall war of choice going into iraq. that particular decision made on the surge, but more to the point, our war in iraq, i think was the most fundamentally bad, dangerous decision since vietnam. aside from the cost that occurred to blood and treasure, what that did to take our focus off of afghanistan, which in fact was the original and real focus of the national threat to this country, iraq was not, i always tried to frame all of the different issues before i made a decision on anything. we can have differences of opinion. but that is essentially why i
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took the position. >> a fundamental difference of opinion, senator hegel. senator gramm and i, senator lieberman, we spent our time trying to prevent that 60 of. thank god for senator lieberman. i think history has already made a judgment about the surgeon you are on the wrong side of it in your refusal to answer whether you were right or wrong about it is going to have an impact on my judgment as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not. i hope he will reconsider the fact he refused to answer a fundamental question about an issue that took the lives of thousands of young americans. >> senator, there is more to it than just -- >> i am asking about the surge. >> i know, and i am trying to explain my position. it factored what general allan had put into place, we put over 100,000 -- >> am very aware of the history
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of the surge and i am also aware any casual observer will know the surge was the fundamental factor led by two great leaders, general petraeus and ambassador crocker. >> i don't know if that would have been >> and just a portion of the exchange that took place earlier today in this senate armed services committee hearing for chuck hagel to replace leon panetta for secretary of defense. at the conclusion of the hearing we will open our phone lines to get your reaction to what you have seen today, expected to continue for several hours. you can also offer your tchauths, via twitter #hagel. this hearing will re-air tonight at 8:00 eastern on
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c-span. while we wait for this hearing to resume, as you can see, senators are milling around a little bit, so they are not quite ready to get started. we'll go back to the opening statements that the former senator hagel gave to the committee when he talked about gays in the military. 2 years in
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my one guiding principle on every security decision i made and every vote i cast was always this, simply this -- is our policy worthy of our troops and their families and the sacrifices that we ask them to make? that same question will guide me if i am confirmed as secretary of defen. our men and women in uniform and their milies must never doubt that their leaders' first priority is them. i believe my record of leadership on veterans' issues over the years going back to my service in the veterans administration under president reagan demonstrates my rock-solid exitment to our veterans and their families. we must always take care of our people. that's why i will work to ensure that everyone who volunteers to fight for this country has the same rights and same opportunities as i discussed with many of you in our meetings. i'm fully committed to implementing the repeal of
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don't-ask, don't-tell and doing everything possible under current law to provide equal benefits to the families of all, all our service members and their families. i will work with the service chiefs as we officially open combat positions to women, a decision i strongly support. and i will continue the important work that leon panetta has done to combat sexual assault, sexual assault in the military, maintain the health and well-being of those who serve as critical to maintaining a strong and capable military because in institutions people must always come first. as we look ahead to co years, we have an extraordinary opportunity, opportunity now, at this moment to define what's next for america's military in our country. it is incumbent upon all of us to make decisiones that will ensure our nation is prepared to confront any threat we may face in the future, protect our citizens and remain, remain the
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>> and that's just a portion of former senator hagel's opening statements. by the way, again, if you missed any of this hearing, it is available on our website. go to c-span.org. the senate is in session today, they are voting on the debt limit bill suspending it to may 19 of this year. votes are under way in the portman bill. at to top of this hearing we learned there would be no breaks and there would be opportunity for them to vote. this is the first unscheduled break. the house is not in session. members are away on a break and have been away all this week. they are meeting with constituents in their home
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towns and they will resume on this network, c-span.
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>> you will come back to order. senator? >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank you, senator hagel for your service to our country and for being here today that the hearing, and i want to thank your family as well. senator hagel, i think we established from the prior questions you have been asked. in july of 2001 you were one of
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only two senators to vote against extending the iran sanctions in that act. yes or no? >> yes. >> and that was when you were only one of two senators in the entire senate to vote against that. also in 2008 i believe you were one of two senators within the senate banking committee, not the entire senate, to vote against a comprehensive iran sanctions accountability act in 2008. is that right? >> yes. >> yes. thank you, senator. as i understand it on october 2, 2008, majority leader harry reid brought a similar bill to the floor. in fact, it was called the comprehensive iran sanctions accountability act of 2008. and he brought it to the floor
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in october 2, 2008. there have been media reports that you blocked unanimous consent for the consideration of that bill. are those reports true or not? >> i was one of some republican senators that did not want that vote to go forward. i voted against it in subcommittee. and the reason i did was because the bush administration did not want that bill to go forward. the reason they didn't was because they were involved in negotiations with the russians and the u.n. and security council members to put multilateral sanctions through. >> but just to be clear you did block unanimous contestant. >> i was -- con sent in >> i was part of those who did. >> would it surprise you that an earlier version of those sanctions bill was actually co-sponsored bicek taxpayer
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cary and clinton and obama at the time? would that surprise you? >> no. not necessarily. i never based my votes on what everybody else thought or did. i voted based on what i thought was right. >> also, we of course, the sanctions that are in place now, that bill or its next generation, passed the united states senate after you left in a vote of 99-0. and no one in the senate in fact voted against that. so that is then our clear policy of the bill really the next generation of the bill that you blocked in the senate. i want to ask you also about your position with respect to involvement in the global -- i know many people have asked you questions about this. here's what's troubling me. you've testified before this committee today that you've never been for unilateral --
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unilateral nuclear disarmament. in other words, unilateral sanctions by the united states of america. yet this report itself, which you call an illustration, its illustration or recommendation or however you want to frame it, is to -- there are many recommendations and one is to eliminate a leg of our triad. you would maintain that is right? >> i call it an illustration, senator, because that's the term it used. at the front end of the report. it's not a recommendation well, let me talk about the other terms this report uses. because this report twice as senator sessions asked you on page one and on page 16 says that the illustrations were this example give engine this
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report, one of which is eliminating a leg of our nuclear triad could be implemented unilaterally. so here's what i'm struggling with. why would you put your name on a report that's inconsistent with what you said was that you could never be against it. >> the report does not recommend that we do these things. the report says "could." scenarios. possibilities. and you probably know the four other individuals who were involved in that report. mainly general cartwright the strategic commander. >> and senator hagel i know we don't have a lot of time here and i don't dispute the other individuals involved in this report, but of all the
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illustrations and coulds you could have picked, this report says the president could implement these unilaterally but it's inconsistent to what you say is your position yet you sign off on this and of all the illustrations you could have picked the illustration is eliminating a leg of our nuclear triad. so one thing that troubles me is of all the things that this group should or could have picked as what you called an illustration is an significant reduction in our nuclear deterrent. so to me i view that as troubling and inconsistent. and one thing i would hope you wouldn't do as secretary of defense is to put -- to sign off on a report that would say something like unilateral like this one does that could be implemented unilaterally that could be different from your policy or our policy. >> as secretary of defense i
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won't be signing off on reports in the same way as a private citizen, obviously. i will have a different kind of responsibility if i am confirmed by the senate. but i don't think that there's anything that also changes my position in that report, because it was a letter sent which you may have to the president of the united states. >> just so we're clear, and i don't want to interrupt you but we don't have a lot of time. just so we're clear, you don't view what you're telling us today and the language in this report as inconsistent? >> i do not. the report also says and the authors of it says and have always said, none of this could be any reductions unilateral just like any unilateral treaty we have signed both republicans and democrats have led on that. has to be verifyible and
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negotiated. i've always been there. and that's where we have been on this report. >> ok. thank you. may i follow up on this discussion about containment, nuclear containment with iran? >> mm-hmm. >> and there seemed to be -- first question i would have as you said clearly to senator levin that you believe that a military option should be on the table with respect to iran. in fact i think you said i do, i have and i strongly agree in terms of that being one of the options the president of the united states would have in addressing iran. is the language that you said. can you help me understand in when you went to islamabad, pakistan, in 2006, you said at that time a military strike against iran, a military option is not a viable, feasible or
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responsible option. now it seems what you're saying about the military option now seems inconsistent and why would you make that statement in pakistan that it's not a viable, feasible or responsible option in light of your statement today that you do, i have, and i stockly agree that a military option should be on the table. >> that statement was made in respect to all options with iran. and pakistan was where i was at the time. and the larger context of that was nuclear powers which certainly pakistan is part of that. and not unlike what secretary gates said on a strike on iran. my point was that this would not be a preferable option land the would be consequences to this option. things would happen as a result
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of it. if we could find a better option or way to deal with iran to assure they do not get nuclear weapons, then we are far better off. that was the context of that statement. >> i know my time is up and we will have an opportunity for a second round of questions, but as i see your quote it didn't say preferable it said it was not a preferable option so i look forward to following up in the second round of questioning. thank you. >> thank you senator ayotte. senator mansion? >> thank you so much senator hagel for your services and your family for your services. i'd like to say this. you and i have not known each other before. i've never had the pleasure of serving with you, which i wish i woufment you bring truly a
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breath of fresh air to this process in a bipartisan way having two senators serve by your side, one democrat and one republican speaks volumes. with that being said also everyone's been so fix ated on your past, what you've said, and i've come to learn in a very short time being a start that this town and process and body has become almost a guilt by conversation. with that being said, i respect you being the person in saying what you thought needed to be said. you voted the way you thought you should be voting for your constituents and country and weren't driven by your party or groups. i can't tell you how much i wish i would serve with you. sometimes i feel very lonely. with all that being said, sir,
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we're asked to consider you as a part of a cabinet. is there anything that would lead us to believe that you wouldn't follow the orders that were given? >> no. i understand clearly the responsibilities of secretary of defense. and as i said in my opening statement, those responsibilities are very serious. i don't know of many jobs that are more serious. and i would obviously, always make every decision for the defense department and my advice to the president based on only one thing, and that's the security of this country. >>i look back at your record. we come from the same area and are very close in age. and i remember the vietnam era very well. that, i think shaped all of us to a certain extent of how we looked after -- post vietnam --
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of how we looked at if we had known what we knew before. i am sure that kind of guided you as you looked at the -- iraq. and i saw information we were given. if i had been a senator i probably would have voted also like many misled but after seeing five or six years of that unimportant to scenario play out, the surge and i know where you're coming from. would you say your experiences in vietnam and looking at that basically what sometimes misguided our misguided mission had been -- shaped a lot of your positions today? >> well, there's no question that as i have said this morning that my experience in vietnam very much guided questions, and i think i noted a couple times in my opening
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statement that it was one fundamental question i always ask, was the policy worthy of the men and women that we are asking to make the sacrifices? and i know there are differences of opinion. you mentioned iraq. you mentioned the surge. my positions there were very much guided by what is the political purpose of the surge? where do we go from here? yes, you put 35,000 more american troops in an area for a sustained period of time or more on top of more than 100,000 that we already had there. you will have a tactical victory. but there will be a cost for that victory. and that's what always guided me. do we understand the cost and are we prepared to make those costs in life? and what was the answer? where were we going with the
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surge? how was this going to take us or advance us to where we needed to go? and where did we think we needed to go? so yes, those experiences did shape my decisions. > the support of israel. i have no doubt that you think that -- your commitment to -- that around should not have the ability to have a nuclear weapon. i appreciate that position very much. where we go with the strength of our army if we have our military part and the pilot of defense, the national guard, how does the national guard play in what they should be doing and what they could be doing? >> the national guard as you know has a chair at the table
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with the joint chiefs. general -- the general represents the national guard. but their role will continue to be important as will the reserves. we saw over the last 12 years of war how important our national guard is in -- and the reserve. we could not have conducted those wars without the national guard and reserves. that is a professionalized service. they will continue to be important. their credibility, leadership, that is why the decision was made to assure their representation with the joint chiefs. i strongly support the national guard reserves. >> i think senator mccaskill touch on things i am concerned about. every time i hear about sequestering and people tell me if we do it it could destroy our ability to the been are solved
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-- are some, -- defend ourself, i do not follow that. this will be the least amount of money we have asked to drop down under any post-war time, and get everyone is hollering that it will be devastating. i know there is a way to do that. the contract -- we are having a hard time getting our hands around the contract thing, the cost of contracting, the ability for people in the contracting world to be reimbursed by over $700,000, almost twice what the president gets paid. would you embrace working with us and sitting down and looking at and embracing an audit, myself and tom coburn, have legislation asking a complete audit of the department of defense? your thoughts? >> of course, i will, and i have noted this morning i am committed to do that.
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i will do it. accountability is a primary responsibility of any institution, organization. that is clearly in the purview of the congress. we have to do it. we have got to improve in the process. we talked this morning about the astounding amount of waste, fraud, and abuse. inspector general's of both iraq and afghanistan have found. i am committed as i have said to assure that we make that deadline of 2017 on the audits and we will work with you closely on that. >> i wanted to state that we talked about in my office that the commitment to help our returning veterans get jobs. the jobs caucus, i hired a vet. i look forward to working with you to put our veterans to work.
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i look forward to voting for you. >> senator fisher? >> >> thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon, senator, good to see you again. i want to begin by thanking you for your service to our country and to the state of nebraska. i appreciate your continued willingness to serve the united states. i need to be honest with you. after our meeting last week, i have some concerns about your nomination. many of my colleagues are concerned that you have changed your of use, and i share that concern, but i must admit that i am more worried that your views have not changed. from your meeting with me last week, it was clear that you maintain the views that led to such scrutiny of your nomination. despite these recent claims to the contrary, you continue to hold i believe extreme of used
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car to the left of even this administration. in particular, your clear statement to me during our meeting that if given the opportunity to recast your vote on the iranian sanctions, you would still oppose those sanctions. i believe that indicates that you hold these concerning the views. our nation faces many challenges. perhaps none greater or more immediate than around's continued progress toward obtaining nuclear weapons. at the same time, the department of defense is entering a time of transformation that will likely to find its role for many decades to come. the future of our nuclear deterrence could depend on our choices made by the next secretary of defense. i am " to bring up the report that we have heard about -- i am going to bring up the report that we have heard about quite a
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bit. you are listed as the co-author of a report on our nuclear posture. i believe there is a recommendation in there, and i believe the recommendation is to drastically reduce the united states nuclear forces. when we spoke last week, you describe this report as being offered by general cartwright, and i had the impression, and i am believe he'll apply to me, that you were not closely affiliated with that. you are listed as a co-author of that report, as one of the five. moreover, you told me at that time that this report discussed options. you have reiterated that stance today. after i have to reexamine that it, the only options i have found in the report are related to how best -- how to best achieve those reductions i believe it advises.
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there are no alternative to use or dissenting opinions that are discussed in the report. it states many controversial opinions. it state them as facts in support of its conclusion, and i believe is important to determine whether or not you agree with those positions. as it has been said before, my time here is limited, and so i would like to quickly go through and review some of those more concerning proclamations that and makes with you. i would appreciate if we could go through this quickly. for example, the united states icbm force has lost its central utility. that is stated in the report. do you agree with that? >> well, senator, that report was not a recommendation. that report as we have said is a
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series of scenarios, and again i use the term illustrative, because that was the beginning of the report, as possible ways we could continue to reduce our warheads, not unilaterally, but by latterly treat every treaty we have ever signed to reduce warheads and the thrust capability with the russians has been about reductions. that is not new. that is where it has always been picked icbm's, a specific questions. it is a 25-page report. i assume you have read it. it talked about one of the reasons icbm's may eventually be insignificant because of the over-flight over russia and so on. those are not fictional analyses.
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those are facts. no one is recommending in that report -- and you probably noted general cartwright and omaha -- these are serious people who understand this business, and no one recommends that we unilaterally do away with our icbm's. what that report was about was looking at where this is going. the title of the report was modernizing our nuclear strategy, not eliminating it. >> correct, but the you agree with the statement that the icbm's, that force has lost its central utility? >> that is not what the report said. >> i have it cited, and with respect i can enter that into the record, but it is cited in the report. >> the report in the overall context, icbm's, and all the parts of the report were about the utilities of our triad, where is this going, and money that we are investing in that,
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and we have to look at it. i think those kinds of reports are valuable to assess our needs, to assess our nuclear capability, to assess our nuclear deterrent. week two studies all the time. this was not an official report. think tanks do this all the time. i think that is valuable. >> excuse me. i do think that reports from various organizations, think tanks, individuals, groups, i think those are all very important in getting information and opinions out there. but when you co-authored a report, you should be able to answer a few -- if you agree with statements made in the report. >> i do not agree any recommendation that would unilaterally take any action to further reduce our nuclear warheads and our capability.
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again, that is not what the report said. i do not agree with that. every option that we must look at, every action we must take to reduce warheads or anything should be bilateral. it to be verifiable. it should be negotiated. >> every action that this country takes should be bilateral? >> when we are reducing warheads -- every treaty we have signed with russians as the bilateral, has been verifiable. ronald reagan said at best -- trust, but verify its. that is the key word. he also said we should wipe nuclear weapons from the face of the arts. i think almost every president has agreed with that. including, this president. world leaders agreed with the continued reduction, and this is
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not a report out of the mainstream. president obama has said in his prague speech in 2009 that that was his goal, as war breaking debt, as many presidents did. >> thank you. also, as i read the report, it calls for all u.s. tactical nuclear weapons to be eliminated over the next 10 years and asserts the military utility is practically nil. do you agree with that statement? >> senator, i do not delete it calls for it. these are scenarios and schedules and possibilities and options. but none of this could ever, ever happen unless it would be negotiated, bilateral, and verifiable, and that was part of a letter the global the zero- credit group said to the president in 2009, specifically,
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stating that. if i might, i might give you a more recent example. senator feinstein's subcommittee -- she had a hearing last year. general cartwright and admiral pickering -- or ambassador pickering testify, and they went into this. with any action we would take would have to be negotiated, it would have to be bilateral, no unilateral action, and they made that point again on the record in front of senator feinstein's subcommittee. and i support that. i agree with that. >> i have another statement from the report. the united states icbm rapid reaction posture remains in operations and runs a real risk of accidental or mistaken launch. i think that statement is pretty clear. do you agree with that?
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>> yes. i mean, i the accidental launch and those kinds of things are always to be concerned about and we need to assure as we have over the years that that does not happen, but on the russian -- >> that we will run a real risk of accident or mistake and launch? >> if you put just risk, but there's always a risk. when we are talking about nuclear weapons, and the consequences, as you know, you do not get a lot of second chances. we need to be very sure about these things, and that was the whole point. >> you need to say any additional questions for the second round. >> i am sorry -- i do not -- >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, senator hagel, first testifying to it. i appreciate the support of your wife. i have some questions for the
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record, particularly about new york basis. -- bases. today i want to focus on issues from my perspective, talking about your thoughts about israel and israel's 630, afghanistan, a personnel issues. on israel, our relationship with israel is tremendously important, and we are tied to them because of being such a strong democracy in middle east and having our national security is tight in many ways. we talked about iran and you have clarified the position that contain it is not an option. i am concerned about a statement he said with regard to iran, a nuclear iran is an existential threat the nine states as well as israel. the iranian government has been a responsible for deaths of u.s. service members, and attempted attack on u.s. soil, training of
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terrorist groups. their latest threat to israel came just a day. i want to make sure that your statement earlier today with regard to whether iran is legitimate, i do not understand if you meant it is a legal entity that has international relations and has diplomatic relations and a member of the u.n., but i do not see erin's government as legitimate. i would like your thoughts. >> what i meant to say, should have said, it is recognizable, it has been recognized and is recognized at the united nations. most of our lives -- allies have an disease there. that is what i should have said. >> with regard to israel, israel's security is important, and i have been one of the strongest advocates, fighting for more increases in missile defense cooperation as low as coordination on the technology programs that are fundamental to
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their security. last year a program more than improved itself as missiles headed toward israel. ranking member inhofe and i push for full funding of the u.s.-is rural cooperative defense missile system. would you support funding for iron dome and other programs? will you also -- if we have to have a continued resolution, the funding for iron dome will be well below the authorized amount for fiscal year 2013? would you recommend reprogramming other funds or setting forth an anomaly budget requested to fully cover our commitment to this program? >> i fully support and will continue to fully support iron dome and arrow.
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s to a commitment to the second part of your question, i would have to better understand what our restrictions are are to be in our budgets. this would be before i could make decisions like that, and i would ask to talk with our chairman of the joint chiefs and each of the chiefs, and want a better understanding, depending how deep this sequestration might get. but make no mistake, it is clearly a priority program. i believe we will continue to fund it. we should. i will support the continuing funding. >> i also hope you will be a strong advocate. this is a very party before me. >> if i am confirmed, we will work together as well as this committee on of these issues. >> a number of members were just
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in egypt, and we are concerned about the syenite becoming a route for arms coming -- the inai becoming a route for arms. we want to figure out a way if there is a way to put more funds to that mission. do you have thoughts on that and what we can do to try to assist in cracking down on the weapons trade? >> it is a huge challenge, and part of what allows terrorists, extremists to advance their cause. maritime security, piracy issues, i mentioned in my opening statement -- that is all part of why we need to rebalance
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resources and why we need to -- we need a flexible, agile base, in particular, our navy, to do this. it will continue to take cooperation with our allies. we cannot do this as well as our intelligence, the best in the war, military best in the war, we are the largest, wealthiest country in the world, but we have to work with allies, and we have to find that through intelligence before it gets beyond the capacity to be used to do damage against the interests of this country and our allies. >> as israel is one of our most important allies, one of our growing threats is syria, particularly chemical weapons being not properly locked down, and there's concern with what happened the yester day -- yesterday. i suspect there is a close cooperation between our
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military with respect to syria's chemical weapons, but will this be something you can focus your concern on, because of their past statements about israel? is this something you will also commit to in keeping this alliance trunk and making sure we have a strong plan with regard to any chemical weapons coming out of syria? >> yes, and by the way i have said on the record many times that hezbollah and hamas are terrorist groups, and i have said many times on the record that iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. i am committed to that. , for my last minute, with regard to afghanistan, we have heard your views, and you did not give a specific statement about how many, but will you in your capacity advises the president bush be drawing down trips sooner rather than later? >> i think he has made that pretty clear, that he wants to
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do that, and if i am confirmed, i will need to better understand all the dimensions of this. i do not know all those dimensions. i think there is little question -- and i support completely -- where the president wants to go completely in afghanistan, and his commitment to on wind that war. as we have said, there should be, there will be. he noted he will enforce a new policy, a new relationship based on limited objectives for our troops there, and i support that. >> my last question, that i will submit, obviously, the personnel of military is our most important asset, and when we hear reports there are upwards of 90,000 sexual assaults against women, in the military,
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it is unacceptable. we have finally repealed don't ask don't tell, but it is difficult for a military spouse to go to the commissary or be notified if a spouse is killed in action. i would need a strong commitment from you that you will treat our military families and look after them in the wake you would look after your own. i want you to be concerned about every man and woman in the military, that they're well- being is being looked at, and see real advocacy and leadership, not status quo, not implementing what we put forward, but fighting for them every single day. >> you have my complete commitment on that. i have made that -- everybody i've spoken to directly and privately. i mention that point in my opening statement, if you will recall. i have a pretty clear record on that. i will continue to do that, will do that, and i agree it is not good enough just to say zero
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tolerance. the whole chain of command needs to be accountable for this all the way down to the bottom, so i will. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> that you senator. senator graham? >> senator hagel, congratulations on your appointment. you are a good, honest man, and i appreciate your willingness to serve the country in the past and be willing to do so in the future. what percentage of gdp do we spend on defense? >> well, we are i think it is probably 5% now in that area. >> at historically high or low? >> generally, it depends on real dollars in -- and wars. , are we at war? >> we are at war in afghanistan, around the world. >> you agree we are in war in afghanistan, around the world. when you look at spending on
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defense, and descended there should be aware we are still at war. do you agree with that? >> i am sorry -- what? >> do you agree every senator, every member of congress should be understanding that when you vote on a defense budget we are at war? >> yes, i do. >> ok, thank you. now, let's talk about statements you may need. you have explained this a bit. he said the jewish lobby in tonight's a lot of people up here. i am not an israeli senator. i am a united states senator. this pressure makes us to do dumb things at tie. he said jewish lobby should not have been used. name one person in your opinion? is intimidated by the israeli lobby in united states senate? >> well, first -- >> name one. >> i do not know. >> why would you say that?
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>> i did not have in mind a specific person. >> do you agreed that it is a provocative statement, that i could not think of a more provocative statement about the united states, israel, and congress. name one dumb thing we have been coded into doing because of pressure into doing because of the jewish lobby? >> i stated i have regretted that term -- >> you stated back then it makes us do dumb things. give me one example of the dumb things that we are pressure to do up here. >> we were talking in that interview about the middle east, about positions, about israel. >> give me an example of where we have been intimidated by the israeli jewish lobby to do something dumb regarding the middle east, israel, or anywhere else. >> i cannot give you an example.
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>> do you agree you should not have said that? >> i agree. >> do you agree with has a lot being a terrorist organization? yes.uest who'v >> you'll were one of the senators asking hezbollah to be designated as a terrorist organization for the purposes of being sanctioned. >> i have had a policy during my time in the senate that i did not think it was the right approach for the congress to be sending leaders any instructions or any documents versus letting our president do that -- >> why did you sign a letter to clinton urging him to deal with the russians when it comes to their policy against jewish people? >> because i think that is the appropriate approach. it is our president to conduct foreign policy. >> all i could suggest to you is when a letter is presented to
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the united states senate about the times in which we live in, you cannot write one letter and not write the other and be consistent. and the letter was urging the e.u. to impose sanctions on hezbollah, and you have been a believer that we should not do it alone, we should do with unilateral. what we do take the chance and urged the european union to sanction has a lot? is we shouldn insurer swer not be writing lesser proof, i think the president is the appropriate official. >> and congress has no interest in whether the e.u. would be sanctioned as a terrorist or a station? >> the congress has a responsibility in a lot of things. >> that me ask you this about
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the iranian revolutionary guard. he said a minute ago you think they are a terrorist recession. do you agree? bailout yes. >> and you voted against the amendment designating them as a terrorist organization because they are recognized as a state? iran, you would not want to designate the army of a recognized as a terrorist? >> i just clarify a statement on iran being a recognized nation by the nine nations, by most world bodies. the reason why i did not vote as 22 other members that because i think jim webb's argument was a strong argument, and that is we have -- and this is what he said -- designated part of a government as a terrorist organization, thereby, what his
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concern was, and what mine is, and other dissenters have voted against it. where to speak tonight to giving the president authority from congress to take military action? >> i got you. let me ask you this -- do you believe the sum total of all your votes refusing to sign a letter to the e.u. asking hezbollah being designated a terrorist organization, being one of 22 voting to designate the iranian card a terrorist or as a sheet of being one to vote against sanctions that this body was try to impose on iran -- statements you have made about palestinians and about the jewish lobby -- all that together, that the image you have created is one of sending the worst possible signal to our enemies and friends at one of the most critical times in world
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history? >> no, i would not agree with that, because i have taken actions and made statements, very clear, as to what i believe hezbollah and hamas are, as terrorist organizations. >> if there was a vote on the floor of the senate this afternoon to label the iranian revolutionary guard, the people who have killed our soldiers in iraq, some of the most vicious people to the people of iran themselves, there were a vote tomorrow or this afternoon or after lunch, would you still vote no? >> i would want to know from the president what they were doing -- >> you read the paper, you watch tv. do you have any doubt what they're doing? they are expanding terrorism. they are trying to intimidate their own people. they are the instrument of the
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theocracy to oppress their own people, and the are the biggest supporter of the urging to keeping them in power so get a nuclear weapon. if you have a chance today after lunch to the to say that the revolutionary guard is a terrorist or is asia, which still vote no? >> the reason i voted no to star or -- >> would you reconsider and vote yes this time? >> times change, and i would reconsider. >> that is encouraging. my time is up but we will have another round pick senator inhofe said that you were one of four senators who refused to sign a letter in october, and the first paragraph says we want you to express a solidary with israel at this moment of crisis and our profound disappointment with arafat and the palestinian
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authority. where does make a what allow violence to be carried out without restraint. this is when the intifada was being waged, and senator inf wanted a member for every member of this body, to put us on record that we believe arafat and the intifada is undercutting the agreements they had reached and they have resorted to violence to intimidate israel and their people in a way that was absolutely unacceptable. if you had a chance to do it over, which you signed this letter now, and i am going to give it to you during what ever break we at an ask you to reconsider. i would ask you, senator hagel, to tell the country, the world at large, particularly the state of missouri, you made a mistake by not signing the letter? >> who is the letter to pro?
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>> i will look at that. i cannot recall the letter. i will look at it and give you an answer. >> it was a big deal at an important time, and a lack of signature by you runs chills up my spine because i cannot imagine not signing a letter at a time like that. we will consider this conversation. 8. >> the keys, senator graham. we will not go to senator bowman thought. >> taken, chairman, and i wanted thank senator hagel for his service and his family. and expressing appreciation not only to you for your service, but also to our veterans, which people may not appreciate as much as they do, your military service, but is every bit as important to our nation. i want to say about that letter, i was not here when the letter
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was circulated. i would have signed it, but i would certainly join in urging that you reconsider and commit to the statement of support in a letter for the state of israel, if it is a program now and applicable to today's events, i hope you will reconsider expressing your support for it. i noted in your opening statements that no single quotation and no single vote define you in the entirety, and perhaps not as a whole, but votes and quotations do better, and i think that the questions about what you have said and what you have done in the past are entirely appropriate, i think also reconsidering your
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views evolving is also appropriate. and i am going to be submitted questions on some of the topics you have heard. we have discussed these questions very your private meetings with members of this body have been productive and effective, as you have seen in the comments that have been expressed here. the more we hear from you the better you do on many of these issues. i want to begin by talking about one issue that concerns our veterans, particularly our vietnam veterans. many vietnam veterans in connecticut and a run the country received less than honorable discharge as a result of contact that was a direct consequence of pst at a time when pst was not a term, not diagnosed, not treated, but they have to live with the consequences of a less than they havedischarge a marria,
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to live with it fewer benefits, and i would like a commitment from you that the department of defense will revisit those individual cases as well as the policies to take into account the fact that we now know that many of those patterns during the vietnam era suffered from pst or related kinds of injuries. >> you have my commitment to do everything i can about that. i understand the issue pretty well. i have been working on this issue long before i actually ever got to the senate. so i will, thank you. >> thank you. and i would like the same kind of commitment that you have expressed very persuasively the repeal of don't ask don't tell on the issue of sexual assaults. this issue, the military, i do not know if you have seen the
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document called "the invisible war," i know you are familiar with this issue, and i would ask that your commitment, not only to the prosecution and holding accountable people who are involved in this criminal conduct, but also to the victim s, so they receive the services that in the civilian world many of them do through victims advocates in the courts and similar kinds of roles played. both the prosecution, effective, vigorous, a zealous, but also to protection of victims. can you commit to that? >> absolutely. >> thank you. on the strategic issues, i wonder if i could talk to you for a moment about submarines, which you and i discussed privately, briefly.
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the department of defense, the joint chiefs, the president have all committed to an ohio-class replacement program that consists of a fleet of 12, starting no later than 2031. global 0 settled on a lower number, 10. i strongly believe that the cost will increase the cost per submarine and we will be at severe risk for reasons that you may well understand, although we cannot really discuss them in detail because they may be classified. i would like a commitment that you are committed as well to a fleet of 12 ohio-class replacement submarines. >> on that issue, i would want to talk with our chief of naval
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operations. i will get a better understanding of our budget. i can tell you this, i am committed completely to modernizing our navy and everything it includes, and will require. i will give you that commitment. >> i am sure you know the higher-class replacement program is the cornerstone of our nuclear deterrence, but it requires a clear leadership and support from the next secretary of defense, so i hope you will perhaps come back to us on that issue. >> i will. you and i will be discussing this many times if i confirm, so thank you. >> thank you. going to the virginia-class submarines, the next multi-share purchase known as block 4 envisions 10 submarines.
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there is a threat that it could be reduced to nine for reasons related to costs and national security. i think that number should be 10. the intent and spirit of the last national defense authorization act was that it should be 10, and i would like to act you similarly for your commitment that there will be two submarines for 2014 and that the program continues to be viable at the level of 10. >> senator, i will commit to what we have committed to to carry out what we need to fund it and develop and build in order to maintain the kind of modern maybe we will require. those submarines are cornerstones to that security. >> they are, absolutely, vital
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cornerstones, the essential building blocks to our national security as we move to the specific -- to the pacific-asian theater. they have the at intelligence and reconnaissance and surveillance capability as well as counter-terrorism importance, so i hope that effort will continue, and i appreciate your commitment. that me finish with a question that i think goes back to the contracting area where you were asked questions before. senator ayotte and i, and a trip led by senator mccain recently, this is it afghanistan and we were briefed and i will try to make this question brief. about the continuing corruption in the afghanistan government, deeply troubling, and even shocking. but equally it so is the waste of american taxpayer dollars, in part because of the procedural
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roadblocks to enforcement of section 841. i will not quiz you on 841, so you can take a deep breath. 841 is designed to protect americans' tax dollars from corrupt contracts that the to benefit the enemy. we are working in provisions that will make more effective the procedures for terminating those contracts, getting back american dollars, extending those protections to non-defense dollars, and i hope that we can have your commitment to work with us on that area. >> you have that commitment. i will enthusiastically work with you in this area. >> thank you. i appreciate your frank and forthright answers, and i do not know whether i will be here for the second round of questioning, but i want to express my sincere gratitude to you for your willingness to serve and your patience and forthrightness in
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entering all our questions. thank you. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. >> thank you, senator hagel, for being here today and thank you for your service to this country. it is good to see your wife and brothers behind you as an indication of the family commitment as well as your personal commitment. there are several things i may get to in a second round on iran and sanctions. that very involved anon effort when i was in the house. our relationship with israel is of great concern to me and is a priority to our efforts in the middle east, and i think that is largely exhausted in this first run, and least from my point of view. i may want to come back to that later. , i want to talk about the
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ongoing structure of the force. "the wall street journal" said the american military was the smallest in recent memory. may not mean that we are not as bad already as any others in the war, but that is a recognition that our investment and the way we view those resources has gotten them in a position where we need to be more focused on rebuilding than we do building down. senator, secretary panetta has been forthcoming in his comments about the across the board approach of sequestration. what do we do to get our worn out equipment and worn out personnel in a better position a year from now than they are right now?
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could you give me your brief, a strategic view of that? >> senator, you have just identified one of the priority is of the next few years at the department of defense. resetting equipment, and the essentially reshaping our force structure, but also renewing our force structure. the fact is we have been at war for 12 years. ever senator knows and you have constituents that we keep sending these kids back and back and back to two wars. of course there are part of the consequences, and you cannot keep doing that. that will be an overall challenge that will take us much of my time if i can confirm as anything, as it will our chief spirit our chiefs note this better than anyone, as we
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structure, repellents, and read- out for it. i believe we have a force structure that is as capable as ever. i do not accept that our force structure is somehow behind or not water or not capable. i do not think that is true. >> the point that the editorial was making was not that we were behind, but we are not on the cutting edge as we may have been, and i would hope you and i would want to get there. let me ask a question about that. secretary gates said recently that hits -- one of his big concerns was that we repeat the mistake of the procurement holiday in the 1970's, and we spent a lot of time 10 years after that getting built back to where we hoped to be.
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how in these discussions of cutting do we keep the lines open, do we keep our effort on going? one of the things i know quite a bit about is the f-18 line, because it is in st. louis were bowing to military is, and if we ever close that line down, when we come about whatever country needs some version of this, and how we keep this capacity at a time when there is this talk about cutting and not just cutting, but cutting everything a little bit, which means that some of the things that can cut a little bit disappear because they cannot survive if they are only partly there. >> senator, you have just again identified one of the great challenges that lies ahead. that is maintaining our industrial base. you used the f-18 -- >> that is just one of the lines
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i have been on. >> i understand. that is a good example. what we are going to have to continue to keep strong, but the reality is we, as you say, because we know what we have to deal with, when our budgets are as the result of the budget act of 200011. when we do not know brings us back to the uncertainty of sequestration, as some of the examples you are using are good examples of areas that could be cut arbitrarily in order to fulfil budget requirements. i think what you have just noted again is going to be a huge part of keeping our technological superiority, our edge. senator blumenthal mentioned
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submarines. as another component of this. all the superior technical edge this country has possessed since world war ii has kept us, along with other things and for other reasons, the strongest military power in the history of man. that must be maintained. threats change. 10 years nobody at anybody what -- 10 years nobody had any idea about what we were talking about, with cyber. >> we have made efforts with our allies and friends to give them some other version of equipment we had, maybe not as good as we had, something that keeps our defense kirk german airlines in place so that when we do need them, they're still there and that is critically important. before you were designated secretary of defense, as the potential nominee for the stop,
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in talking about sequestration, you made a comment about there is a lot of bloat. i am sure you talked about this, it's quite a bit. what do you have in mind there? what is being done at the pentagon that to be better be done somewhere else or is being duplicated somewhere else? maybe the fall of that, i saw you mentioned things that should be in the state department have gotten over the the pentagon. are there examples of that that we could work on and you will want to lead on? >> two things. that comment came in a large interview about budgets, about everything, and that interview was done in 2011 prior to the budget control act, to get the time from right on that. i never supported sequestration, by the beltway. now to your question about what we could do.
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much of the conversation has been about acquisition, which is, fraud, abuse, billions of dollars. why are we not auditing these programs? that is certainly an area that we are going to have to take a look at. my reference to the state department programs, some of the areas i mentioned this morning where we have pushed down on the military in the last 12 years to do things that usually are done out of the state department, aid-type programs, exchange programs, civilian programs. that was all given -- but a great deal of that was given to the military. the military has taken on a tremendous volume of assignments and funding that goes with that spirit that needs to be sorted through, i think. those are areas where i think
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-- >> and one of your commitments will be to help sort through that? >> it has to be. >> i am out of time. i will be here for the second round. >> thank you. senator donnelly? >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. ranking member. it is an honor to be a part of this committee. i look forward to working with mike collins, and i am proud to serve the people of indiana. we are the heartland of america, and senator hagel, we have over 40,000 members of the national guard in our state. we have the fourth largest contingent of national guard members in the entire country. i want to thank you for your service to the country. you along with all veterans for what you have done for our nation. i appreciate you taking the time to meet with me. we had an extensive discussion, and your understanding of the complex challenges we face in
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the middle east and the importance of our alliance with israel -- it is a special an historic relationship. i believe is a special and historic relationship. my people in my statement believe that as well. it was important for you to let everyone know that there can be no nuclear iran, that there are lines that cannot be cross, and we will defend our friends and area.tire world in the iat i told you about my visit to crane or for systems in indian act, which create technologies to control the spectrum, try to win the battle field before the battlefield ever starts on the ground. we were wondering what can be done in this time of challenge and budgets to ensure that in the area of technology, in the
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area of spectrum, we can maintain our budget so that before the war as our starter on the ground we have won it on the spectrum level? how credible is that in terms of your planning and the defense department? >> senator, i think that focuses on as much the core of challenge that the pentagon has in front of it than any one thing. this committee will be particularly important to help the leaders of the pentagon sort through that, because as evidenced in the whole series of questions that have been asked today, senator blunt's most recent crashes, these are times of priorities. budgets drive that, but missions should always tried everything. what are going to be our
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missions in the defense department over the next few years? how will we resources missions? what are the priorities going to be? can and is the entire universe -- and is the entire universe of what their responsibilities are and how do we carry those responsibilities out to secure nation? more general questions, and most of the questions asked here today, have been about this. until i would get over to the pentagon, if i have confirmed, and understand more of the specifics and work with the chiefs and get a better grasp of exactly what we have got, i will not be in a position to be able to say this or this or we will do this or we will not. obviously, that is why i say this committee, the authorizing committees, our car to be
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particularly -- >> he mentioned over 14,000 guard members and our state, army reserves, and they have done tour after tour in iraq and afghanistan. as we wind down, i think it is critical to make sure that we have a strategic plan for the card in the future. so that the car we have today, is strugglingwise, on a command, we have to upgrade our vehicles but other areas as well. i guess the question is how do you view the mission of the guard in the years ahead? , well, as you know during our conversation and a couple of the questions i have had here today on the guard, i am committed to a strong national guard. it is and the central part of
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our force structure going into the future, and it was proven quite fairly and effectively the last 12 years. that will be maintained, and i think further evidence of that, putting a chief of the national guard into the joint chiefs. you have my commitment that i will be continually focus on that integration and the upgrading it in every way. >> i had the privilege of working with general should secchi -- general shinseki in recent years. as he testified about iraq and how many trips he thought was needed, and the repercussions that came out of that, not only for the general, but in so many other way straight it is critical that the generals and the people in the pentagon provide the most thunderous information possible. they tell you exactly what they think. you tell them exactly what you
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think. nobody at any time as their career affected for telling you the truth. i'd want to make sure that that is the way you are approaching this. >> that is the way i approach this. i value that. there's no other way to assure that we are getting the best, the most honest advice from our most capable leaders than to say it like that. the general shinseki episode was a very unfortunate episode in this country, what happened to him for telling the truth. if science editor at defense and that kind of thing will never happen -- if i am secretary of defense, that kind of thing will never happen, if a senior officer to be handled and treated that way when he told the truth to the congress. >> i will say this, the job he
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>> i will say, and i know you know this, the job he has done for veterans is extraordinary. another challenge we have for veterans and for active 2-d is the suicide -- active-duty, is the suicide rate, losing more members in 2012 than fighting in afghanistan. i know the general has basically dedicated his life to trying to solve this problem. i want to make sure the defense department will clean all in to try to fix this and provide answers so the number goes to zero in years ahead. >> you have my complete commitment on this issue. >> it is something veterans face and also a transition
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issue. as much as you can work with the va as our active-duty transitions out, when they go home, that they have somebody to talk to, tell them how they feel and understand what they are going through because if we can help them with that -- they have borne the burden of battle and we owe them everything. another question i wanted to ask you about was pakistan. incredible challenges in afghanistan -- so much of them are caused by pakistan. we are providing about $2.5 billion in aid. do you think those dollars were well spent so much? >> pakistan is a complicated relationship.
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it is a nuclear power. they cooperate with the united states on some things. we have difficulties with them on others. as to your question on investment in pakistan, we condition that assistance, as you know. we must continue to condition that assistance. i think text and is too dangerous, -- pakistan is too dangerous, we cannot just walk away from it. it is complicated, in perfect, but this is where all of the levels of influence, diplomacy, economics and power come into
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play. how we wisely use those resources will determine the outcomes. we have to be honest as well. we are dealing with factors there that we do not agree with , that we have difficulties with and power, but, again, we o continue to work at it and i believe we will and should. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, senator donnelly. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to begin by thanking you for your honorable service to the nation, the personal sacrifice in fighting for this country. >> thank you. >> i would like to address a question of process. you have described giving hundreds of speeches and interviews and his committee asked you to submit those speeches and in response you
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handed over a total of four speeches. in my view that submission was spatially, again insufficient fs committee to assess your record. indeed your financial disclosure shows you were paid in the past year for 12 speeches yet you did not even handover those speeches for which you are paid a substantial, the money. six members send you a letter asking for financial disclosures. you have not chosen to respond to that and -- letter. it asked you about the private organizations that paid you, and the degree to which those funding sources have come from foreign nationals, foreign sovereign debt funds. you chose not to respond to that letter.
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in my view, unless and until you respond, this committee does not have a proper record on which to assess your confirmation and we need photos are an adequate time to assess -- full disclosure and adequate time to assess that. with respect to the international criminal court, do you believe the united states should become a party to the international criminal court. >> senator, may i quickly respond to your first comment. >> i would like for you to answer my question, why time is limited. >> that question is one i will most -- likely not be dealing with as secretary of defense. >> do you think we should be a member? i am asking for your judgment. >> i support where the united states is today.
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>> you think we should not be a party. thank you. i would like to draw your attention to an interview you did in 2009 with al jazeera, and with the chairman's indulgence, if we can play and excerpt of that interview. >> go ahead with your question. >> hello, sir, good evening. it is a very good proposition, but very strongly i believe that -- leadership around the world -- there is a moral savior going on. unless they have a moral
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catastrophe, for example, look at palestine. there is a war crime and they are not dealing with it. if you look at sri lanka, the genocide going on, nothing is being done. [indiscernible]>> what is your question with regard to the issue? ask given the -- >> given the total moral failure, unless we bring them to moral judgment, nothing can be done. >> i think you are exactly right and i said in my opening statement that leadership is critical because in life nothing is ever accomplished without leadership. >> in that excerpt, the caller suggested that the nation of israel has committed war crimes
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and your response was not to dispute that characterization, but indeed to describe what he says as "well, i think that is exactly right." i would like to ask you, do you think the nation of israel has committed war crimes. >> no, i do not, senator. i would like to look at the full context of the interview, but to answer your question, no. >> we laid the entirety of the question for you to hear -- played the entirety of the question and your response. i would suggest that the suggestion that israel has committed war crimes is particularly offensive given that the jewish people suffered through the hollow class -- holocaust, and for the
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secretary of defense not to take issue with that claim is highly troubling. i would also point out in 2006 your characterization of the , andn of israel's action that was in a speech on the floor of the senate, referring to israel's military campaign against the terrorist group hezbollah as a "sickening slaughter." do you think it is right that israel was committed -- committing a "sickening slaughter?" >> again, i would like to read all of what i said, but i have said every nation has the right to defense -- defend itself. >> do you think a "sickening slaughter" would be a war crime? >> it depends on defending
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yourself. >> is defending yourself against terrorism typically characterized as "sickening slaughter?" let's play another expert -- exit. >> we have any e-mail from wendy who writes can the rest of the world -- the image of the united states is that of the world's bully -- do we need not to change the perception if we are asking to lay down arms? >> her observation is a good one and relevant. yes, and it is a good question. >> do you think it is appropriate for the civilian leader of us military forces to
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agree with the statement that both the perception and the reality is that the united ?"ates is "the world's bully >> i did not hear her stick -- say that, and my comment was that it was relevant and a good observation, not that i agree with it. >> with respect, the record speaks for itself that she said the us is the world's bully, and you said her observation is a good one, i agree with it, and yes to her question. you agreed with the characterization of the united states as the world only, and i would suggest that is not a characterization -- the united states has spilled more blood, more treasure, standing for freedom, liberating people
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across the world, and to go on al jazeera, a foreign network, broadcasting propaganda to nations that are hostile to us and to explicitly agree with the characterization of the united states as the world's bully i would suggest is not the conduct one would expect of the senator of decks -- secretary of defense. ex-senator, she said that was an observation. >> she said perception and reality. with that, my time has expired. >> thank you. what we will do, given the fact that some of those tapes -- they need to be transcribed to be made part of the record so that people can judge exactly what was said and what was asked. i heard that first question as a response to the need for moral leadership, by the way, not the
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way senator cruz did, but in any event it is important that the words be transcribed and made part of the record. i told senator cruz that i'd refer we have a transcript and you the asked questions from a transcript but i did not want to stop him from offering the tape of it. he went ahead and did it, and in any event the fair thing is that the transcript of each of those segments be made part of the record and that we give senator hagel an opportunity should he want either on this question, or other questions, an opportunity to record -- answer for the record in any way he might proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we would be happy to provide a transcript and we will make public a link to these excerpts and the entire transcript.
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>> that would be very helpful. thank you, senator cruz. senator her ronald -- her ronald -- herono. >> think you, mr. chairman. we live in a complex world, and any secretary of defense should ask tough questions, maybe not politically popular questions, and i see you as that kind of person given your comments to the questions asked of you today and the conversation you and i had. turning to your statement this morning, you talked about looking at future threats and challenges, and why the department of defense is rebalancing for the asia pacific region. this is important for hawaii.
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would you expand as to why and what particular economic or national security factors come into play as we rebalance to the asia-pacific region? >> senator, you know better than most your region and its importance, and why it will continue to be important to the world, but certainly to the united states. as i noted in my opening statement and you know, we have always been a pacific power. we have been a pacific power because we have clear economic interests, strong allies and i mentioned some of them in my opening statement. when we look at the growth of the economy, trade growth,
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population growth, the rise of china, but not just china -- that entire asia-pacific region -- we need to stay relevant to opportunities as well as challenges in all areas, particularly those we see emerging as to the largest, most significant economic security issues and opportunities. it is important that any nation rebalance assets. you have to be relevant to the times, the shifts, the changes. the world is different than it was 12 years ago. our force structure is being refit. we are looking at a far more agile, flexible force structure as our economies become more
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agile and flexible. for all of those reasons and more, that is why we are doing what i think is exactly the right thing to do, but it does not mean we are abandoning anyone, or any part of the world. we can not. >> senator, as we live in times of budget constraints, will you commit to keeping this committee informed as you develop strategies and contemplate posture adjustments that go along with this kind of rebalancing? >> yes, and i look forward to it. >> i am always heartened by the factor that you always -- fact that you ask the question is the policy worthy of the men and women we sent into battle.
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i am heartened by that perspective. what would be your top priorities as you look to care for the men and women in uniform and their families? that's as i said in my opening statement, -- >> as i said in my opening statement, the welfare, the safety, the success of our men and women in -- in uniform is my top priority, and will continue to the. >> do you have any specifically programmatic ways you will reflect that? >> first, to implement the law. we have a number of new laws, policies that are in the process of being implemented. we have spoken about some here today. i will assure, if confirmed, that we do that. as i said in my opening statement, we will assure that every military man and woman and
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their families are given exactly the same opportunities and rights as each other and all members of the armed forces. >> i also take to heart your belief in the importance of the coordination and the work between the department of defense and the va. i understand you have a strong relationship with secretary shin seki. having been a senior leader in the veterans administration, what will be your primary challenges and goals as you look to collaborate with the secretary and the va? >> it will be the same that secretary panetta, and before him, secretary gates, initiated in closer collaboration between the two agencies, and that means
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the integration of our systems as our men and women transition out of active duty into civilian life or retired life and require the assistance of some veterans assistance programs. a closer integration -- we know that the backlogs now are still far too long to get you valuation's of whether it is ptsd or whatever the health issue is. i think continuing to work with the secretary as secretary panetta engaged it, but strengthening those levels of leadership where people understand each other better and maximize the resources that each agency has in making those resources more value-added and count more.
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>> i had an opportunity to meet with secretary shin seki recently, and those are not happening as expeditiously as we would like, so i hope you would have a real need sense of urgency about these efforts because the bottom line is to help our men and women transitioning into civilian life. i hope we have that strong commitment. >> you have my strong commitment. >> the department of defense is the us's largest consumer of energy. we talked about that briefly. it is clear the military will benefit from cheaper, more stable fuel costs over the long term and promising work is being done in the area to commercialize alternative fuels
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that can be produced abundantly in the united states. this is very important for all of our -- hawaii. if confirmed, will you continue to emphasize and prioritize research, development and where possible deployment of renewable fuels, as well as enhanced energy efficiency efforts to reduce the department of defense's energy costs over the long term? >> senator, as you noted, the department of defense is the largest user of certainly liquid fuels, but i think our energy budget -- i do not know the exact number, but it is probably around $18 billion a year. anything we can do to make any aspect of securing our country more cost-effective, we need to look at. i would make that a high
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priority if i am confirmed and go to the defense department -- to see how we do that, how we continue to do that he cousin in the end, for all the reasons you know, -- because in the end, for all the reasons you know, it is in the interest of our country, resources and people. >> continuing to fund these areas will accrue huge cost savings for dod. thank you, my time is up. >> thank you, senator hirono. here is the situation we have. the first vote is a 10 minute boat and the subsequent votes are 10 minutes. i am happy to call upon you now , but you will have to keep track of this. i would be happy to recess now instead of your -- after your
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questions. we will recess for the five votes, about one hour. would you like to start now and take the chance that you do not finish, or start after the hour recess? >> i had better not miss the possibility of missing a vote, so i would prefer to recess now. >> we will recess for about one hour, and that the last vote, it is up to five votes, but the final vote, final passage of the debt limit will -- we will begin about five minutes after the beginning of that vote. we will stand in recess. [captions copyright nationalcable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed bynational captioning institute]
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>> c-span's live coverage of the confirmation hearing of former nebraska senator chuck hagel, the president take to be the next defense secretary. our phone lines are open.
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the confirmation hearing, which began this morning at 9:30 a.m. eastern time, five hours so far , and begin with opening remarks by former chairs of the committee, and then the questioning by members of the senate armed services committee. we will show you some of the highlights and all of the hearing is available on our website, c-span.org. tony joins us from district heights, maryland. >> good afternoon afternoon. i wanted to make some observations. if you listen to lindsey graham and ted cruz, the sheer and minutes and reflective ideological dogma driven questioning they had, you would think that chuck hagel grabbed
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two guys off the street to introduce him. how can two seasons, reasonable, dedicated professionals like these to be for this man if he is the monster or the nitwit that these to try to depict him as? it shows that even on foreign- policy members, -- matters, the altar right wing tea party -- altra right wing tea party cachet is therefore some folks. >> josh, joining us next from dallas, texas, republican line, a reference to your senator, ted cruz. >> for all texans, do not believe a single word ted cruz says. you can go search on that network, and you can watch the
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full clip. that comment was completely scandalous. i am telling you right now. quicksand you are a republican? >> he does not have those views. that was scandalous. i am shocked a us senator would go that far. that right there should be a reason to expel a senator. >> you are a republican, correct? >> yes, i am, a moderate. >> ok. randy, virginia beach, virginia , democrats line. >> i am so appalled what is going on with the senate. chuck hagel said he was a us senator, not the senator from israel, and he is not going to
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be the defense minister of israel. for every senator to get up there and hollered and talk about israel, israel, israel as if they are the only nation on earth. let's talk about israel and the united states in 1947. they were supposed to be our best friend. what about library is -- liberia? i am so tired of hearing about israel. i do not live in israel. maybe some of those guys are double agents up there, but we need some people that think about america first. >> gene, joining us from lindbergh, montana, good afternoon. you are on the air. please go ahead. >> i have been listening and watching intently, taking notes
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on what has been said and ask, and i am really disturbed about chuck hagel. a leopard does not change his spots, and i am a firm believer in that. i have some tough questions if i could ask him myself, and whether it is the democrats or the republicans asking the questions, it is not the time for anybody to run and hide and say they do not know or they do not recall. that is all i have to say. >> calvin, durham, north carolina, day one of the confirmation hearings. you are on the air. >> yes, john mccain appears to be a sore loser, still bitter about his loss in the election. president barack obama won the election. i do not understand why he cannot have who he wants in his
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cabinet. >> we are getting comments on the facebook page. one says confirm chuck hagel, he served in vietnam, knows war is hell, and the us is wasting blood and treasure. another says i support chuck hagel as secretary of defense as it will be refreshing to have a man that served and enlisted. next, little rock, arkansas. >> chuck hagel kind of reminds me of the oliver stone 1960's guy that does not see the us in the power that it is, and i am tired of these people that think we should not back israel because if we were to lose israel it is a new ballgame and that is not good for anyone. as long as they keep using chuck hagel's own statements, i think
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any line of questioning is open for debate. too many people are making this about trying to do something against the president. no, they are not. they are trying to confirm somebody using proper history. >> we have conducted a number of interviews with chuck hagel over the years and it is available any time on c-span.org. john mccain parted company with chuck hagel on the issue of the surge in 2007 in the war in iraq. here is that exchange. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i am pleased to see an old friend here before the committee. i am pleased to see senator warner and senator nunn, who contributed to our nation's defense and were great members
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of this committee. members of this committee will raise questions reflecting concerns with your policy positions. they are not reasonable people disagreeing. they are fundamental disagreements and our concerns pertain to your professional judgment and your worldview of national security, including in the middle east. let me begin with your opposition to the surge in iraq. in 2006, republicans lost the election and we began the surge. you wrote a piece called "leaving iraq honorably." in 2007 you said it is not in the national interest to deepen military involvement. in january, 2007, in a bizarre exchange with secretary rice after some nonsense about syria and crossing the border into iran and syria because of the
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surge, and a reference to cambodia in 1970, you said "when you set in motion the kind of policy the president is talking about here, it is very dangerous. i have to say, madam secretary, i get -- i think the speech given by this president represents the most dangerous foreign-policy blunder in this country since vietnam. if it is carried out, i will resist it." that you carried on months afterwards talking about what a disaster the surge would be even to the point where it was clear the surge was succeeding. in march, 2008, you said "here, the term quagmire can apply. some reject the term, but if that is not a quagmire, what is ?" even as late as august 29, 2011
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-- 2011, in an interview with "the financial times" you said "i disagree with president obama cost decision to surge in iraq as they did with -- resident bush -- president bush ." do you stand by those, it's? -- comments? >> i stand by them because i made them. >> were you right? >> the committee deserves your judgment about whether you were right or wrong about the surge. i want to know if you were right or wrong. >> the surge assisted in the objective, but if we review the record a little bit -- >> will you please answer the question? were you correct or incorrect
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when you said the surge would be the most dangerous foreign- policy blunder in this country since vietnam. were you correct or incorrect? >> my reference -- qwest -- >> will you answer the question? were you right or wrong? i would like you to answer and then you are free to elaborate. next well, -- >> i am not going to give you a yes or no answer. let's let the record show you refuse to answer that question. >> if you would like me to explain. >> i would actually like an answer, yes or no. >> i will not give you a yes or no. my answer is i will refer to that judgment to history. as for the comment i made about the most dangerous foreign- policy decision since vietnam was about not just the surge, but the overall war of choice
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going into iraq. that particular decision that was made on the surge, but more to the point our war in iraq, i think was the most fundamental, bad, dangerous decision since vietnam. aside from the costs that occurred in this country through blood and treasure, aside from what dad did to take our focus off of afghanistan, which -- what that did to take our focus off of afghanistan, which was the original and real focus of the threat to this country -- iraq was not -- i always try to frame all of the different issues before i made a decision on anything. just as you said, senator, we could have differences of opinion. >> it is a fundamental
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difference of opinion, senator hagel, and senator graham and i and senator lieberman spent our time to prevent that 60th. thank god for senator lieberman. i think history has made that decision, and you are on the wrong side of it, and it will impact my judgment as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not. i hope you will reconsider that you refused to answer a fundamental question about an issue that took the lives of thousands of americans. >> there was more to it. >> i am asking about the surge, senator hagel. >> i know you are, and the beginning of the surge also talked about what happened in an bar province, the sunni awakening. >> i am very aware of the history of the surge and the
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awakening, and every casual observer will know the surge was a fundamental factor led by two great leaders, general petraeus and ambassador -- >> i do not know if that would have been required and cost us over 1000 american lives aired >> you do not know if the surge would have been required. ok. >> the questioning from john mccain to who is one-time former colleague, chuck hagel, also a veteran of the vietnam war. the senate committee is in recess because of votes. we have live coverage of the senate in -- on c-span2, and live on c-span3, hillary rodham clinton is discussing leadership in her final speech as secretary of state. this reminder, the hearing
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taking place today, if it wraps up by 8:00 p.m. tonight, and as we heard from carl levin, they hope to finish this, we will have the rear air -- reairing. some of your thoughts on twitter and facebook -- this tweet from connor who was watching the exchange with senator john mccain -- chuck hagel is getting ripped apart. there is this from thomas hurley on the facebook page who says this man should be confirmed, he understands there are no easy answers and the republicans are continuing to commit political suicide. on the phones, independent line, georgia. >> hi, thank you for taking my call. i think former senator hagel should be confirmed. i wanted to talk about john mccain talks questions about the
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surge in iraq. i think it is well known the war in iraq was illegitimate, so i do not think mccain was being fair by grilling hagel so much on that point in particular. another thing i wanted to follow-up on and i know senator hagel could not get into this, but in reference to the question about the israel lobby intimidation in congress, i beg everyone who was watching right now to look into former congresswoman cynthia mckinney, and you will find plenty of her testimony on her support of americans, and i think she is in mind -- in line with senator hagel about putting america first. of course we will support israel, but we lost too many lies through war. >> cynthia mckinney, and you will find plenty of her. good afternoon. >> good afternoon.
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thanks for taking my call. i believe senator hagel should be confirmed. he is a true american. he is a hero. he is working for the american people and he has been elected for the senate he for. that is what he does. the united states of america has to change its own foreign- policy. we have our own issue in the united states with 15 million homeless. 60 million people have no health insurance. so, america comes first, and american people come first, to. >> there is this tweet from ernest who says the senator's words are working against him and he has to flip-flop his position. too bad. dennis, latrobe, pennsylvania.
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good afternoon. >> yes, thank you. i would like to weigh in on a few things. senator hagel's past, to me, he is not a warm person when you meet him in person, for instance. from very important people in my life that have met him. the other thing is little things like his views on the boy scouts, other issues, they will not be brought up obviously, but to me they would disqualify this gentleman to sit at the table with. the president and talk over these type of crucial negotiations that we have with each other in this country and get the right things done. i think he is just too much involved in the right -- wrong
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things, and too far removed from the real topics that need to be dealt with when you are talking about defense and everything in this country. with my background being in the history of social ecology, i am sure they can find -- so she ali g, i am sure they can find better qualified people, -- so she ali g -- socialolo -- sociology. >> the senate is wrapping up the hearing tonight, and potentially there could be a vote out of the committee next
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week if all goes as scheduled. that could be blocked by senators who say they will stop the negotiation. today is the last speech by former senator, secretary of state hillary clinton. we are covering the speech on the council of foreign relations. you can watch the speech online right now on c-span3with my bace history of social ecology, i am sure they can find -- so she ali g, i am sure they can find better qualified people, -- so she ali g -- social. jackie joins us from st. joseph, missouri, republican line. >> i support the nomination of chuck hagel. i think the war in iraq was a mistake. it allowed iran to pursue nuclear weapons, unfettered. we did the same thing in libya, leaving a political vacuum. what we can deal with in the future is afghanistan where we have been at war for 11 years with no end in sight. i do support chuck hagel. i think his moderate approach to war is a step in the right direction. >> one of the last two question chuck hagel was ted cruz, and a couple of you weighed in on his
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line of questioning. this is from bill who says ted cruz brought out the real colors of chuck hagel. he should not be considered -- confirmed. danny responds cruise was a fraud in context and he knows it. another exchange with a veteran from the committee, lindsey graham. >> he said the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people. i am not an israeli senator, i am a united states senator and this pressure makes us do dumb things at times. he said the jewish lobby should not be used. name one person in your opinion that is intimidated by the israeli lobby in the united states senate. >> well, first -- >> name one. >> i do not know. >> why did you say it?
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>> i did not have a specific person. >> can you think -- and you agree that it is a provocative statement? name one dumb thing we have been goaded into doing because of the pressure from the israeli or jewish lobby. you said it made us do dumb things. you can not name one senator intimidated. give us an example of the dumb things we are pressured to do up here. like so we were talking in interview about the middle east , -- >> we were talking in the interview about the middle east -- >> give me one example where we were intimidated by the jewish lobby to do something dumb. >> i can not agree -- give you an example. >> do you agree that you should not have said that?
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>> yes, i have already said that. >> do you agree has the law is a terrorist organization? >> yes. ask you are one of 12 senators refusing to sign a letter refusing to identify them as a terrorist organization. why were you one of the few to refuse signing the letter? >> i did not think it was the right approach for the congress of the united states to be sending leaders any instructions or documents as opposed to letting our president do that. >> why did you sign the letter to bill clinton urging him to deal with the russians when it comes to the policy against jewish people? >> because that is the appropriate approach. the president conducts foreign- policy. >> when a letter is presented to a united states senator about the times in which we live in
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you cannot write one letter and not write the other and in my view be consistent. the letter was urging the eu to impose sanctions on has a lot and you have been a big believer we should not do it unilaterally. why would you not take his chance to urge the european union to go ahead and sanction has a lot because it might help the world at large, and your answer is you do not think we should be writing letters. >> that was not my answer. i think the resident of the united states as the appropriate official. >> congress has no interest at all on whether the eu would designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization? >> the congress has an interest in all things. >> ok. apparently not there. let me ask you this about the rain in revolutionary guard -- iranian revolutionary guard.
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you said they are a terrorist organization and you voted against the amendment designating them a terrorist organization because you thought we would be going down the wrong road doing that because they are a recognized state. air and. you -- it ran. -- iran. >> i said iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and i also clarify a statement that they were a recognized nation by the united nations and most world bodies. the reason i did not vote as 22 other members did not, i think jim webb's argument was a strong argument because he sat on the floor we have never designated part of a government as a terrorist organization, thereby what his concern was and as was mine and other senators who voted against it, would this be
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tantamount to giving the president of the united states authority from the congress to take military action against iran? >> do you believe the sum total of all of your votes refusing to sign a letter to the eu, asking has a lot to be designated as a terrorist organization, being one of 22 to vote to designate the iranian revolutionary guard as a terrorist organization, being one of two to vote against sanctions this body was trying to impose on iran, the statements you have made about palestinians and the jewish lobby -- all of that together, that the image you have created is one of sending the worst possible signal to our enemies and friends at one of the most critical times in world history? >> no, i would not agree with
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that because i have taken actions and made statements very clear as to what i believe hezbollah and hamas are as terrorist organizations. >> if there was a vote on the floor of the senate this afternoon to label the iranian national -- revolutionary guard, the people that killed soldiers in iraq, some of the most vicious people to the people of iran themselves, if there was a vote would you still vote no? >> i would want to know from the president what they were doing. ask i mean you read the paper, you watch tv card do you have any doubt -- >> i mean, you read the paper, you watch tv, do you have any doubt what they are doing? they are expanding terrorism. they are the biggest supporter of the regime to keep them in power so they get a nuclear
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weapon. if you had a chance tomorrow, today after lunch, to go to say that the iranian revolutionary guard was a terrorist organization would you still vote no? >> the reason i voted no to start with, that has not changed. >> would you reconsider? >> times change, and yes, i would reconsider. >> thank you, that is encouraging. why time is up, but we will have another round. senator in half -- senator inhofe said you were one of the only senators to refuse to sign a letter offering disagreement
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with support for arafat, and every member of this body was asked for a letter to clearly put us on record that we believe that arafat and the intifada is undercutting the agreements that they had reached and they had resorted to violence to intimidate the israeli government and people in a way that was absolutely unacceptable. if you had a chance to do it over, would you sign this letter now, and i will give it to you during whatever break we have and ask you to reconsider. i would ask you, senator hagel, to tell the country, the world at large, particularly the state of israel, that you made a mistake in not signing that letter. >> who does the letter go to? >> the president. >> i will take a look at the letter and give you an answer. >> all i can say is it was a
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big deal and the lack of a signature by you runs chills up my spine because i cannot imagine not signing a letter like that at a time when it really mattered. >> the exchange between senator lindsey graham and former senator chuck hagel, the president's choice to be the next defense secretary. the armed services committee is reconvening in about 25 minutes. we will take you back live, but in the meantime we will spend a couple of minutes getting your calls and comments. john has this on our twitter page saying the hagel hearing is proof of the military- industrial complex, they are supporters of the funding and the agenda. from our facebook page, confirm him, chuck hagel has the right to speak truth to power then and now.
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democrats line. lincoln, nebraska, the home state of chuck hagel. >> thank you for letting me share in this debate. he has been our senator, a very moderate, decent man, a war hero -- he and his brother are. i support him entirely. i think these questions he was asked -- did the surge worked? i do not think it did. i think we have lost both of those wars. we will never stabilize those countries. with spending the money in those countries and end it in the united states of america. this man has taken the pledge of the constitution, not a grover norquist pledge, but the pledge of the constitution twice as a senator and as a sergeant in the army, and i would not want
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anyone but this man to lead my marines into combat or send them there because he knows exactly what combat is. thank you very much. >> thank you. senator carl levin is the chairman of the committee, and when the hearing reconvenes, senator mike lee of utah will begin the next round of questioning. christian, democrats line, vermont. >> yes i am absolutely in support of chuck hagel. one of the things that is really annoying me is all of this emphasis on israel. you know, i think -- i really empathize with their history, especially in world war ii, but i think that the oppressed has now become the oppressor.
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i think they are cool to the palestinians -- cruel to the palestinians. i totally agree. i know where hagel is going, i agree with him and i think that is is sentiment. i am just appalled by how this country sends so much money to israel, which oppresses and kills so many people, and i would -- i am absolutely in support of hagel. i hope that other people recognize this and open their eyes and see what israel is doing to other people. >> thank you for the call. mary has tweeted in -- ted cruz and graham or an awesome team, pulling a total sergeant friday on chuck hagel, just the fact, man.
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on our facebook page -- barbara says both lindsey graham and john mccain seem to be angry chuck hagel did not vote the way they wanted them to in the past. lisa says mccain another event we are covering today are the comments of the president of the nra, one day after the testimony before the senate judiciary committee. he spoke this morning at a christian science monitor breakfast. here is part of that exchange. we apologize, we thought we had that clip for you, but it is an event that would cover. all of these events are available on our website at c- span.org.
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the president of the nra speaking on the issue of guns and gun violence, and the debate continues here in this country. we will get more details on the president's plan during his state of the union address. right now we will take you back to the hearing as it began this morning at 9:30. when the gavel comes down for the afternoon session, which will be in about 35 minutes, we will take you live to that, here on c-span. thank you for being with us.
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>> good morning, everybody. the committee meets today to consider the nomination of former senator chuck hagel to be secretary of defense. before i begin, i want to first welcome senator inhofe as the new ranking republican on our committee, succeeding senator mccain. senator mccain has been a great partner over the past six years, and i thank him for all the work he has done to get bills enacted, his leadership on a host of issues, his support for the work of this committee, and for always keeping our hearings likely.
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senator inhofe has shown his strong commitment to the national defense over his 20 years on this committee. and i know that we are going to work well together and continue the bipartisan tradition of the committee. we are also pleased to welcome the eight senators who are joining the committee this year, both of those who are new to the senate and those who are new to our committee. senators donnelly, hirono, kaine, and king on the democratic side, and senators blunt, cruz, fischer, and lee on the republican side. you will all find that this is a wonderful committee where we work across party lines to support our troops and their families, and their national defense mission. i would also like to pause for a moment to offer my thanks and the thanks of our committee to secretary panetta, who delayed
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his retirement and his return to california to serve our country, first as director of central intelligence, and then as secretary of defense. secretary panetta has provided a steady hand at the department of defense through two very difficult years, and has earned our great respect and our appreciation. finally, the committee will be holding hearings next week on benghazi, and the weeks thereafter on the impact of a sequester on the department of defense. senator hagel, we welcome you to the armed services committee as an old friend, those of us with whom he served during your years in the senate. there are few jobs were demanding that the position to which you have been nominated. the hours are long and extremely challenging, and
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require sacrifices from both the secretary and his family. we traditionally give our nominees an opportunity to introduce their families at these hearings, and we would welcome your doing so during your opening statement. if confirmed, senator hagel would be the first former enlisted man and the first veteran of the vietnam war to serve as secretary of defense. you cannot read and senator hagel's account of his military service and not be impressed by it. as senator hagel explained a few years ago, but " probably most fundamental for me, when we talk about going to war, we need to think it through carefully, not just for the political and diplomatic and economic consequences, and those are important, but at least for me, this old infantry sergeant thinks about when i was in vietnam in 1968. someone needs to represent that perspective in our government as well. the people in washington make
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the policy, but it is the little guys to come back in the body bags." senator hagel's background provides an invaluable perspective, not only with respect to the difficult decisions and recommendations that the secretary of defense must make regarding the use of force and the commitment of u.s. troops overseas, but also with respect to the day to day decisions that the secretary must make to ensure that our men and women in uniform and their families received the support and assistance they need and deserve. it would be a positive message for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in harm's way around the world to know that one of their own holds the highest office in the department of defense, and that he has their backs. senator hagel, you would be in position to make key decisions on afghanistan.
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the secretary of defense is called upon to advise the president on the size and mission of a post-2014 so- called residual force, and the pace of the drawdown between now and the end of 2014. the key to this transition is ensuring the readiness and ability of afghan security forces to take over the defense of their own country. i always believed that would be our main mission and its key to success. during my trip to afghanistan with senator jack reed last month, we heard from u.s. commanders on the ground that afghan security forces are operating on their own on most operations, including conducting more than 85% of operations, with limited or no u.s. support in the difficult
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regional command east take difficult obstacles remain with the process of reducing our forces and shifting responsibility to afghan forces, including the difficulty of negotiating the status of forces agreement, including recent reports that the afghan government might slow down a successful program of growing and training the afghan local police, and including questions about the current plan to reduce the size of the afghan national security forces from 352,000 to around 132,000 after 2015. we face a number of new and growing threats elsewhere in the world, such as the ongoing threat posed by iran's nuclear weapons program and the increase in early destructive civil war in syria, and the risks of conflict could result in the loss of control of the countries substantial stockpile of weapons.
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there is continuing instability in other countries affected by the arab spring. the growth of al qaeda affiliates in unguarded regions including yemen, somalia, and north africa, and continued unpredictable behavior of the nuclear-armed regime in north korea. we face these challenges at a time when the dod budget is under unique pressure as a result of cuts previously agreed upon by congress, the budgeting by continuing resolution, and the impending threats of a sequester. secretary panetta has said that a sequester would be devastating for our military. senator hagel's views on the sequester will be of great interest to this committee and the nation. those of us who have served with senator hagel in the senate know that he is a man who was not afraid to speak his mind.
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senator hagel has made a number of statements over the course of his career which committee members will ask him about during today's hearing. for example, senator hagel has stated that unilateral sanctions against iran, "are exactly the wrong approach," and that "the worst thing we could do is try to isolate iran." i believe that while effective multilateral sanctions are preferable, unilateral sanctions are an important part of the approach that the obama administration has followed and congress has supported, and it appears that sanctions are producing tremendous pressure on iran. another statement which has raised concern is senator hagel's recommendation that we conduct, "direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks with the government of iran." now, while there is value in communicating with our adversaries, the formulation
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used by senator hagel seemed to imply a willingness to talk to iran on some issues that i believe most of us would view as non-negotiable, and any willingness to talk to iran would need to be highly conditional. toator hagel's reassurance me and my office that he supports the obama administration's strong stance against iran is significant. we look forward to hearing senator hagel today in some depth on that subject. we will also be interested in hearing senator hagel's statement on the public statements is made on israel and the united states, that our policy of non-engagement with the syrians as, "isolated us more than the syrians," and a 2009 statement that "we should not isolate hamas," a terrorist organization.
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there is much to be explored at this hearing. but as we struggle with the difficult security challenges facing our nation, the president needs to have a secretary of defense in whom he has trust, who will give him unvarnished advice, a person of integrity, and one who has a personal understanding of the consequences of decisions relative to the use of military force. senator hagel certainly has those critically important qualifications to lead the department of defense. senator inhofe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, i would like to echo your remarks about secretary panetta and the work he has done. i don't see him here today, but i do recall that when he was first nominated, i was probably one of the first phone calls to
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him, and i have enjoyed working with him and a mccain, the same way, i continue to depend on his counsel. you and i have worked very well together in the past. mr. chairman, before i continue the opening statement, i would like to raise a concern about the sufficiency of the materials provided to this committee by our nominee. senator hagel was requested to provide the speeches he has delivered over the past five years. yet his initials the mission was for only four speeches, even though, as was noticed by senator cruz, he had 12 speeches but submitted four speeches. well, we received some more, but only late last night i think it would have been a lot more helpful if we had received them before that. i hope we will be able to get that information before we have to cast votes on this nominee. the president's nomination for
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senator hagel for secretary of defense comes at a critical juncture. secretary hagel is a good man. i am a great admirer of the time he spent in vietnam, and the sacrifices he made. while this service is commendable, his nomination should be decided by the totality of his record. it is the votes he has cast and the statements he has made that will inform us as to his judgment, his view of america's role in the world, and his view of the military requirement to support that role. as i told senator hagel in my office some time ago, over two weeks ago, after a long and careful review of his record, the things he has said, and the things i have personally experienced with him, we are
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too philosophically opposed on the pressing issues facing our country, and therefore i told him i would not be supporting his nomination. his record demonstrates what i view as a lack of his steadfast opposition to policies that diminish u.s. power and influence throughout the world, as well as a recent trend of policy reversals based on political expediency rather than on core beliefs. with many of the security challenges facing u.s. interest around the world, senator hagel's record is deeply troubling and out of the mainstream read too often, it seems he's willing to subscribe to it worldwide view that is predicated on appeasing our adversaries while shunning our friends. no man survives when freedom fails.
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i will mention a few of these things because they will come in this hearing. in 2000, an overwhelming majority of the senators sent a letter to president clinton for reaffirming our solidarity with israel. i carried that their around. i remember it well. senator hagel is one of just four who refused to sign that letter. i am sure he will want to comment on that. in 2001, he was one of just two senators voting against the bill for extending harsh sanctions against iran. a year later, he urged president bush to support iran's membership in the world trade organization. senator hagel voted against a resolution designating iran's revolutionary guard corps, a group responsible for killing soldiers in iraq and afghanistan, as a terrorist organization. on multiple occasions, he has advocated for direct negotiations with iran, a regime that continues to oppress
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its people and doggedly pursue a nuclear weapon capability and employ terrorist proxies including hamas and hezbollah. senator hagel has been an outspoken supporter of nuclear disarmament and global zero movement. we are very sensitive to that. the president has said many times that he wants a nuclear- free world, and i know that senator hagel is right there with him, but and a time when north korea's belligerent actions threaten our allies with nuclear capabilities, and the security of our own nation and that of our allies, why would we want to unilaterally disarm ourselves of nuclear capability? of late, however, senator hagel has expressed views in meetings with senate colleagues and i have been informed that they are glaringly at odds with long- held positions, particularly
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regarding israel, iran, and our nuclear arsenal. this willingness to walk back his positions, possibly for the sake of political expediency on input and issues, is deeply troubling, and sends a concerning message to our allies and adversaries alike. though i respect senator hagel, his record demonstrates that he would be a staunch advocate for the continuation of the misguided policies of the president's first term, retreating from america's unique global leadership role. it will embolden our enemies and endanger our allies and provide an opportunity for nations that do not share our interests to fill the global leadership vacuum we leave behind. it is for these reasons that i
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believe he is the wrong person to lead the pentagon at this perilous and consequential time. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator inhofe. we have two former chairmen of this committee with us to introduce senator hagel. no senator has had two dearer friends or better mentor is that i have had with senators nunn and warner. i want to welcome them back to this committee. i don't have to tell them that they are among dear, dear friends. it is a real treat to welcome you back to the committee. i will call on you, senator nunn, first. i will call you alphabetically. i have no better way to do it. sam? [laughter] sam, welcome back.
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>> first, for the record, seniority and age are two different things. senator levin, ranking member inhofe, i am honored to join my friend john warner in presenting chuck hagel to the committee and recommending that chuck be confirmed as our secretary of defense. i think it is worth noting that 68 years ago this month, john warner and listed in the u.s. navy to fight in world war ii. that was the start of his great career in public service, and john, i am proud to be here by your side. mr. chairman, i spent a lot of time sitting in your seat, and congratulations on not having to do that today -- >> i don't know how long it will last, but thanks for pointing it out. >> you and senator mccain have
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effectively guided this committee in its important role as an compelling voice for defense. you have managed to pass authorization bills even during contentious times. thank you both for your dedicated service to our nation. i am confident that you and senator inhofe will continue this tradition, and that senator mccain will still be a very, very valuable member and a voice on this committee. i believe our nation is fortunate to have a nominee for secretary of defense with the character and the experience and courage and leadership that chuck hagel would bring to this position. first, chuck is acutely aware that even in an age of rapid technological advances, our military capability and effectiveness depend on the quality and the morale of the people who serve our nation in
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uniform, as well as the families who support them. chuck received two purple hearts in vietnam, and he continued to fight for veterans and active duty military personnel. he knows that our people are the strongest assets. second, chuck's experience in vietnam shape his life in perspective. war for chuck hagel is not an abstraction. i am confident that if confirmed, he will ask the hard and smart questions before sending troops into battle. chuck hagel knows that the united states has vital interests that are worth fighting for and dying for. he also knows that war should be a last resort, and that our nation must effectively use all of our tools, not limited only to our military, to protect our important and to protect our vital interests. certainly, mr. chairman, there
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is a tension in these values, but it is a tension we should welcome in the thought process and in the advice that our secretary of defense gives to our commander in chief and this congress. from our service to gather on the defense policy board in recent years, i know that chuck hagel has a clear worldview, and that is aligned with the mainstream of u.s. foreign and defense policy and also with president obama. chuck hagel believes we must preserve the american strength as a force for good in the world. he recognizing that protecting our interests requires strong allies and friends, as well as strong american leadership. third, chuck has the depth of experience and leadership skills required to handle this tough job. there is no shortage of security challenges around the world, as this committee knows and as you enumerated this morning, mr. chairman. a very large and impressive
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group of former cabinet officials and public servants from both sides of the aisle have said that they trust chuck hagel with this important responsibility. and i strongly, i strongly agree. fourth, on the fiscal side, i am confident that chuck will be a powerful advocate for a common-sense approach in this administration and on capitol hill regarding fiscal challenges to the defense budget. he understands that our defense capabilities are being threatened on two budget friends. first, sequestration, with its damaging, across the board, up from the budget cuts, and second, the rapidly rising costs within the department's budget, including but not limited to health care, personnel, and retirement costs. mr. chairman, members of the committee, i believe that chuck will work effectively with this committee and congress on meeting these budget challenges while protecting our people,
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our capabilities, and while ensuring that the united states has the strongest military in the world. chuck hagel was a soldier and a senator, but he has been also a highly successful executive in both the public and private sectors. he built a successful company from the ground up. he is a man who knows how to prioritize and make tough decisions. he will listen to and carefully consider the views of our military and civilian leaders and guided them as necessary. fifth, i believe that chuck hagel will be a balanced and responsible voice on a nuclear weapons policy. president reagan said it often and said it well -- "nuclear war cannot be won and it must not be fought." as this committee knows, the risks of a global nuclear war have thankfully, substantially declined since the breakup of the soviet union. but with nine nations
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possessing nuclear weapons, with a nuclear weapons usable material and knowledge spread across the globe, and if terrorists manage to buy, steal, or make one, we face enormous risks that a nuclear weapon would be used if proliferation continues in places like iran and north korea, and if we do not secure them globally, the odds of use go up even more. six years ago, george shultz, bill perry, henry kissinger and i made the argument that we should reduce reliance on nuclear weapons as a vital contribution to preventing proliferation, keeping them out of dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world. 2/3 of living former secretaries of state, defense, and national security advisers have agreed with the vision and the steps that we outlined, including substantial work on
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verification and enforcement. mr. chairman, i hope that all members of the committee and the senate will read the recent statements by four credible and very experienced americans -- master tom pickering, ambassador richard burt, general james cartwright, and general john sheehan, about their work with chuck hagel on nuclear weapons. they made it abundantly clear that the bank opposed unilateral moves -- they oppose unilateral moves and support verifiable u.s. arms reductions, to be followed by multilateral negotiations bringing other nuclear weapons countries into a series and verifiable process of reductions. in closing, mr. chairman, there are many essential characteristics and values that the secretary of defense should possess in a dangerous and challenging world. let me name just two or three that i think are very important.
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first, someone who is well informed, has an open mind, in cages in critical thinking, who is capable of and seeks out independent thought. second, someone who sets aside fixed ideologies and biases to honestly evaluate all options and provide his or her candid judgment to the president and the congress. third, someone who pays attention to people with the best ideas, regardless of their party affiliation. no one is perfect, we all know that. but chuck hagel comes as close as anyone i know to having all of these qualities. mr. chairman, senator inhofe, members of the committee, i served for 24 years on this committee and i know that much has changed since i retired 16 years ago. i continue to believe, however, that every major problem we face today requires the best input from both political parties if we are to arrive at a
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solution. i believe that chuck hagel will seek that input. i urge his support by this committee and i urge the confirmation of this nomination by the u.s. senate. i thank the chairman. >> thank you very much, senator nunn. i thank the chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. it is a very amusing -- a very moving experience for me. i served on this committee for 30 years. and in that time, senator nunn was the chairman and i was the ranking. but no one to say to you that jim and i have been good friends and we worked together, not only on this committee, but other committees. you following the steps of my dear and guided friend of some years, john mccain. and the leadership of this
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committee throughout my 30 years in the senate's has been drawn from the ranks of the strongest and the best of this membership. we have it today and i have every reason to believe we will have it tomorrow. i would like to say a word to the members of this committee. as a look back over a very fortunate record of public service for many years, the chapter of my career was more important -- new chapter in my career was more important than my services committee. you will carry with you for the rest of your lives the recollections that you have done for the assets of the men and women and their families of the united states. i have written out a nice long
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statement. then last night, i got sam nunn's statement and chuck hagel's statement. i would rather say just a few words from the heart about the importance of what we have by way of this before all of us today. 68 years ago in the navy, i did no more than every other kid on my block. we all went. but i would like to remind you that, half a century ago, you served in the coast guard. so grandpa with another grandpa. [laughter] good friends, we thank chuck hagel and mrs. hagel and his family. if confirmed, an enormous commitment by the family to this position.
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having known some of it, you have made that decision to watch yourself once again, offer yourself for continued public service. public service is a privilege. i have always regarded it as such. the second reason -- i will give a long statement. this statement by senator hegel will soon be shared with you. i read through not once, not twice, but again this morning. and i say this very carefully. i have read the statements that have been placed before the members of this committee for those 30 years. i have never read a more carefully prepared statement a more forthright statement, and one that has no hedges or deviations.
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he hits firm on those issues that will make the decision in your mind and that of your colleagues. as to whether or not his cold -- he is qualified to take on this very important assignment. i first entered the pentagon in 1969 during the war in vietnam under melvyn larry. jim schlesinger followed and i worked with every secretary of defense since that time. all different, all different strength and there were weaknesses. but set forth in this is a series of commitments to you as a committee, to the members of the full senate and to the american public as precisely what his goals are and what he will do. how he will serve the president,
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how he will give the president his best advice. and i know him to give it very strongly. so i will talk kilobit about chuck hegel, the man that i served with -- so i will talk a little bit about chuck hagel, the man that i served with. the first year he was here, we had the daniel defense authorization on the floor. in those days as it is today, the bill goes on the floor and that bill stays on that floor. sometimes a couple of days, sometimes a week, sometimes broken up, but we get it through. and when it is done, we don't immediately back to our committee spaces and we begin to write that bill and give it to the printer so that we can go to
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conference. how many times have we done that together, senator nunn? senator levin? senator mccain? senator enhofe? many times. the first time he was here, he watched the process. when i had taken the step back to the committee room, surprisingly, he showed up. i did not know him that well. i wanted to get to know him because of my deep and abiding interest in the vietnam period, having served for five years in that time as undersecretary of the navy. and he started into the room and i introduced him to the people. and he said to the staff -- you are one of the most impressive group of young people i have ever seen. i learned a lot. and he shared some of his stories as a simple and elegant
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soldier. that is the way he started. and thereafter, he voted for every single final passage of the authorization bill, every single final passage of the appropriation bill. he was home and learned in that generation of vietnam and i am so proud to have the film shea -- the affiliation of having the comparative safety of the pentagon. but i did go to the field of battle and see these young men and some women who engage in that struggle. but chuck hagel brings with him the experience of having come home -- come home to an america that was quite different than what i experienced when my generation came home from world war ii. we were welcomed with open arms.
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america at that time in vietnam, and how will john mccain can remember this, was very divided. and when you were your uniform back home, it did not receive the same respect that deserved, the sacrifices that you and your colleagues had committed. chuck will never forget it. i will never forget it. john will never forget it. today, we welcome them home and we do with the fullest heart. the young men and women. but there have been times in history when that was done. that honed him to be prepared to take on his responsibilities as he addresses the declining budget situation, which will be a challenge. and i am absolutely certain that he will stand up and fight as hard as two of your
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predecessors. leon panetta you mentioned today, and robert gates. they gave their president loyalty, but they gave him their best advice and they were tough and they fought for their troops. and they drilled down but they need to maintain whatever budget and sequesters not the answer. whatever budget, maintain morale and combat readiness and also, ladies and gentlemen, the pillar of strength of our military system, the all- volunteer force. we had drafts in vietnam. we saw the effect of that. and we decided as a nation to take the gamble, to let every person who wished to wear the uniform, give him that
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opportunity and to volunteer. no one is forced in there. that has got to be maintained. this man has the experience of gravitas and the strength to protect the all-volunteer force. and was also deeply impressed with the senate, in a manner that it confirmed john kerry. john kerry was also in that generation. he served his trousers and tribulations and he came home and face that public, the same way that chuck did. they sent him whole way ready to take on the enormity of his responsibility. in the enormity of my experience, i have seen a great deal of camaraderie, but a good
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deal of competition between the secretary of defense and the secretaries of state. it is a sort of built in their cribs sometimes a lot of sand gets in that gear box. but it is important for the united states, having the major jurisdiction over the major policies, that they've worked as a team. john kerry and chuck hagel are a band of brothers out of vietnam with that special bond and i am sure that you will utilize that and remember it and make those two departments perform their functions to best serve the president and to best serve the country. i pretty well said everything i should say. i want to be brief because it is important for this committee to pursue its work. again, bob gates, leon panetta set the bar for this century of those who take on this job.
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and you mention your long friendship and how you know both. i would keep close contact. they have had the experience to do with this president of the united states and he is the president's choice. there is an old saying in the combat infantry and marine corps. certain men are asked to take the point, which means to get out and lead in the face of the enemy. chuck hagel did that. as a sergeant in vietnam. if confirmed, chuck hagel will do it again. this time, not before a platoon, but before every man and woman and their families in the armed services he will leave them. and they will know in their hearts that we have won a barrel.
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-- we have one of our own. you're on your own. good luck. [laughter] >> we thank you both, senator warner and senator nunn for your extremely powerful introductions. i just wish every white member of the senate and every american could have heard and hope will hear and read about what you said here today about chuck hagel. i also noticed there is another former senator who is a member of the band of brothers who is with us today. paradmedics cleveland is here. i want to welcome -- max cleveland is here. max, want to welcome you. let me know: senator hegel and senator north -- let me now call on senator hegel.
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senator hagel. >> thank you, chairman leaven and distinguished members of the committee. i am honored to come before you today as the president's nominee to be secretary of defense. first, as you suggested, mr. chairman, let me introduce my family. my wife lilly beth. our daughter and our son and not here today. our son claims he is taking a test. and we will confirm that later. but both our son and daughter,
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we are very proud of. like any proud father and any proud mother, you all know how i feel about that as you have the same feelings about your children the same way we feel about hours. i also want to introduce my brother tom who served with me in vietnam. my brother might -- i'd rather mi -- my brother mike, who is our no. 3. he has in the pentagon 10 paintings as the chairman of the air force artist's guild over the years. they are hanging in different locations in the pentagon. so we have some rather some claim. mike's son is sitting behind him, josh.
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we have here also cousins, many friends, the people i owe money to. [laughter] and who knows who else and then some. i have received some publicity over the weeks. i also want to thank my friends sam nunn and john warner. i want to thank them for their support, there's encouragement and their friendship over many years. and, as each of you have the privilege of serving with those two senators, i, too, add my thank you for their tremendous service to the country. these two distinguished americans represent what is best about american public service and responsible bipartisanship. they have embodied both in their
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careers, long distinguished careers, and are models for each of us. and of course, to my family and friends and fellow veterans who are here, as has been noted, max cleveland, jan scruggs, good friends, veterans from all wars were here today who work with for many, many years and i am grateful to them. not just to those friends who are in support, but also who are not. life is only as good as the family and friends that you have and the people that surround yourself with. i also want to thank my friend leon panetta for his tremendous service to our country over some years. if i am given the privilege of succeeding him, it will be a high honor. president obama for his confidence and trust in me, i thank him.
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high and humbled by the opportunity and the possibility that he has given me to serve our country once again. and i fully recognize the men's responsibilities of the secretary of defense. i assure the president that, if confirmed by the united states senate, i will do my best for the nation and for the men and women and their families were called on to make the enormous sacrifices of military service. their safety, success and welfare will always be at the forefront of the decisions i make. i also assured the president that i will always provide him with my most honest and informed advice. i make that same commitment to this committee and to the congress. if confirmed, i will reach out to the members of this committee for advice and collaboration. it will be a partnership. because the national security challenges the nation faces
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required. we cannot allow the work of confronting the great threats we face today to be held hostage to partisanship, neither shall -- on either side of the aisle or by differences between the bodies represented in articles 1 and two of our constitution. the stakes are too high. men and women of all political philosophies and parties and ideas by and fight for our country. as this conflict -- as this committee knows so well, protecting our national security or committing a nation to war can never become political litmus tests. i know that secretary panetta reached to the congress. i come from the congress and respect and understand this institutions and distance -- indispensable role in governing our country. we're all products of the forces that shape us. for me, there has been nothing more important in my life or a
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more defining influence on my life and my family. whether it was helping my mother raised four boys after by -- >> testimony from earlier today. the defense secretary confirmation of chuck hagel. let's go back to capitol hill for more on the hearing that is just getting underway after a break. >> the committee will come back to order. senator lee. >> thank you mr. chairman and think you senator hegel for joining us today and for answering the questions that have been asked of you so far. i would like to talk with you so far for a few minutes about israel. israel is america's most important ally certainly in the middle east and come in many respects, in the entire world. a lot of people in this body are concerned, quite appropriately, about making sure that that
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alliance remains strong, about making sure that our interests and as americans are protected abroad. a lot of us feel that one of the best ways of protecting american national security is through that alliance in the middle east. on april 12, 2002, there was a palestinian terrorist who detonated a bomb in downtown jerusalem, killing six israelis and wounding about 100 others. on that day, while you were serving the u.s. senate, you gave a speech on the senate floor. you may couple of comments that i would like to discuss with you and ask you a little bit about them. in one segment of the speech, you said we understand israel's right to defend itself. we are committed to that. we help israel defend that right. we will continue to do so. but it should not be at the expense of the palestinian
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people. innocent palestinian people and the innocent israelis who are paying the price. some who have read that have reacted with concern that this may be indicative of a feeling on your part that there may be some moral equivalency between, on the one hand, is real exercise of its right to defend itself, hand on the other set -- on the other hand, palestinian terrorism. do you believe there is a moral equivalency between these two things? >> absolutely not. >> do you understand how others may read this statement and would lead them to that impression? >> i do. >> how do you respond to it? in other words, do palestinians have a legitimate gripe? >> terrorism can never be justified under any circumstances.
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>> but is there gripe legitimate? >> the palestinians? >> yes, the palestinians who decide to strap a bomb on themselves and -- do they have grievances? >> they do have grievances, but not a justification for terrorism and killing innocent people. never. >> are they on par with the grievances that israelis have when they become victims of violent acts? >> i don't think you can judge whether it is the israelis or palestinians or anybody in the world in separating innocent victims of terrorism. >> i think you can in some circumstances, can you? >> not victims. >> must not judge when it comes to one group of people who may at least be willing to recognize the other group of people's right to exist?
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>> absolutely. clearly on the record on that point. in fact, in 2006, the anti- palestinian act that i voted for. and there were a number of other resolutions, acts, votes, speeches that i wrote. in my book, i have said specifically that hezbollah must announce -- must renounce terrorism and accept israel to exist as a jewish homeland, respect the borders and protect the borders. i made that clear. >> ok. later on in the same speech, you asked the question -- you last -- he referred to the fact that we really need to develop peace in the middle east. and you ask the question who guarantees this piece? if we expect israel to pull back to their pre-1967 borders, who
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guarantees that peace? does this reflect sentiment on your part that that is a legitimate way of solving the peace process, bringing about peace in the middle east, by asking israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders? >> no, not at all. what i said was who guarantees the security of israel's borders? israel's borders must be secure. that is part of the fundamental of the core principles of 2006. in fact, you made resolutions that is paramount, the guarantee of the security of israel and its borders. >> i've understand that part of the question of how we bring about that piece -- that peace. but another part of the questions started from the premise that israel would be withdrawing to its pre-1967
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borders. you feel that is a tenable solution? do believe such borders are militarily defensible? >> i think that it's all negotiable. the quartet principles of 2006, which president bush laid down in the two-state solution, all of those issues have to be resolved. land for peace, trading land, all of those are final status issues that are key to the future of israel or before israel can agree to anything. >> so you're saying you might describe a resolution of this crisis involving withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders as perhaps one among several tenable solutions? >> as part of what has been talked about and defined, as i said the main the 2006 quartet principles and u.s. resolutions that that is part of a final status set of issues that have to be resolved. the united states, no other
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country can impose that on israel. that is a negotiable issue. but it has been out there. that remains to be dealt with in negotiations. >> is it one that you think the united states should encourage? >> i would encourage peace and a secure, safe israel. that is what i think most of this would want to see. >> ok. in 2009, you made a statement suggesting that u.s. ground troops should be sent to that part of the world and installed as u.n. peacekeepers in a "non- motorized palestinian state." is -- "non-militarize palestinian state." is that appropriate? >> i don't have the facts in front of me, but i don't think
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that that was earmarked -- a recommendation was making. as i recall my comments and you may be able to give me exactly the comments, they were in the context of how do you secure israel's border? who secures israel's border? it has been suggested that this is a peacekeeping role for nato. that is what that was all about. >> my time has expired. i would like to ask you one more question. i understand you may be statement indicating that there is no justification for palestinian suicide bombers. but that there's also no justification for israel to "keep palestinians caged up like animals." did you say that and, if so, do you stand by that today? >> well, i said it. and remember the context for when i said it. >> do you believe today that israel kids palestinians caged
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up like animals? >> if i had in a party to edit that, i would like to go bad -- and -- if i had an opportunity to edit that, i would like to go back. i said many things over many years. it was a larger context. the frustration and what is happening that is not in israel's interest, to find ways to find peace and security to israel. if i had a chance to go back and ended it, i would. i regret having used those words. >> thank you. >> senator lee. senator kane. >> it was good to see with my dear friend senator warner, a decorated navy and marine veteran from world war ii and korean war, a longtime member of this committee. it was good to see him here. he exemplifies and come forgive
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my va centers and for a minute, he exemplifies something that is very important commonwealth. our route is in out of this country's military history. yorktown, about x, there is the uss arlington that will be commissioned in april. we care very deeply about these events. one in nine virginians birth to death is a veteran. when you add in the guard and reserve and contractors, now you are probably talking about one in three of us. we care very deeply about all that is within dod. let me be playing -- plain, the threat that
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virginians and others are talking about now more than ever is the inability of congress to find a way forward on a reasonable budget compromise. that is what is in the newspapers and the headlines. of the day -- the direction of the deputy director, dod is planning for future cuts. i am very worried at the macro level about dod's ability to pursue and execute appropriate national security objectives in this time of congressional inability to find a budget compromise. the current cr limits flexibility, for example, of the military to pretty tail -- taylor resources -- to appropriately taylor resources, we have no flexibility to deal with a shortfall. and to me, it seems like funding the military through cr is poor
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business, poor budgeting, poor governance. i am worried about its effect on the morale of our men and women in service. my first question is a simple one. do you agree that we, congress, must finish a fiscal year 2013 appropriations process as soon as possible to allow dod to move forward with this year's funding decisions rather than continuing to be down by a fiscal year 2012 cr? >> yes, i do. i think i have been pretty clear on that all day today. you have described it accurately. >> my second question is about sequestration. to me, the new guy, allowing budget sequestration, the cavalier discussions in newspapers recently that i have seen by members of congress about the fact that is reality and we probably cannot change it makes no sense. i am interested to see whether it might be more sensible to realign the deadlines, a
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sequester deadline. based on a vote we just had and the senate, we are now in a budgetary process where there is a strong likelihood we will be able to produce budgets together with the house. and why would we be making short-term, one-off decisions that are holdovers from a previous congress that could not get it right? to my way of thinking, that is the way you ought to make budget decisions and revenue accord, rather than through gimmicks like sequestered. i think we will get out of this budget uncertainty, but when we do, you will have the task, if confirmed, of being the secretary of defense in a resource constrained environment and will have to deal in a more thoughtful budgetary process with congress about how to make priorities on spending. i would like to hear you talk about how you would approach that administrative task of dealing with these fiscal realities. and >> first --
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>> first, as i noted in my opening statement, if confirmed, i would intend to make this relationship between the secretary of defense and congress a partnership, much as secretary panetta has done prepared i think it is critically important -- secretary panetta has done. i think it is critically important. you authorize. you appropriate. the federal government is captive to that authorization and appropriation. each department must work in the budgetary framework of those resources. i have said that like all of these big issues, it is a matter of first of all, clearly defining the mission in its entirety as to what is the mission of the department of the -- department of defense.
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and then what our priorities are as they fit into our strategic interests around the world. and then how you manage it, how you lead. that includes working closely with the chiefs. it includes working closely with all of the leadership within the department of defense. it is about teams, people. it is about building consensus within the congress as well as within the military. each military chief has a responsibility for his or her area and service. and that is as it should be. and obviously, goldwater nichols integrated our services, which was the right thing. i think most people agree with that. but also, the commandant of the marine corps and each chief has the responsibility to look out for the interest of our service. the coordination of those efforts engender standing of the
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bigger picture are critically important. those are all critical elements not unlike you as a governor and one time would bring to the job. >> switching gears for a moment, it is hard to contemplate that if confirmed, he would be the first in last person to hold the position. i want to ask a question about our listings. senator manchin mentioned earlier the high unemployment rate of our military officers. when we see an unemployment rate among enlisted as that is higher than the national rate, when they have technical skills that can benefit a civilian work force, we know something is wrong. there have been some pilot projects in 2012 and into 2013 to focus on issues that matter. we have talked about it, how to credential active duty military while they are in their himmel's's and while they are -- while they are in their mos's
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how to gain critical skills so that when they leave they are not just a ghani sargent, which people in the average work force may not understand. are you committed to pushing forward on those pilot programs and expanding them so we can get at this employment issue? gregg's absolutely, and again kind of a doubt in my opening statement -- >> absolutely, and again, i noted that in my opening statement. i am committed to that. nothing is more important than our men and women and their families, and that does not just mean drop their time of service to our country, but afterward. -- throughout their time of service to our country, but afterward. we must fulfill our commitment to them. >> one last question. as the topics have come up today when we have talked about iran and the threat of a nuclear iran, we often talk about it as
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linked to israel as posing security, which is. they are holocaust deniers and they threaten the security of israel. it is not just about the security of israel. in the iranian nuclear threat is a much bigger one. it is clear that if they get nuclear weapons, other nations will start to do the same. i know that is counter to principles that you hold, that the president holds, and is not just on israel's shoulders to be worried about a nuclear iran. it is a threat we all need to be worried about. >> i agree. to add one point on that, you all know, of course, and many of us have been involved over the years -- the current p-5 plus one engagement, to get all five members of the u.n. security council together on this one issue -- we have variations of exactly
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what should be done, but that should give the world some indication of how russia, china, the u.s., and essentially all major nations of the world to view the threat of a nuclear iran. >> thank you >> senator vitter. >> thank you, senator, for being here. and thank you for your military service. my single biggest concern about the nomination is the dramatic flip-flops' between your past statements and record and what you are saying as a nominee. and they are about key, core issues. we have discussed some of those today. i want to focus on that, and i apologize if i go over some of the things that have come up before. i could not be here for most of the hearing. in 2006, when israel was
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responding to attacks by hezbollah from lebanon, you call that response, "a sickening slaughter." and you accuse israel of "to the systematic destruction of an american friend, the people of and country of lebanon." what do you say about those statements? >> well, first, i said them. i have been asked about them. i have said that i regret saying that. it was within the larger context of a speech i made about what was going on, a thirtysomething days of war going on. i also included in that speech the responsibility of hezbollah, who started the war. it was not exactly the way you just noted it.
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the language is exact, what you just said, but there was a larger context. yes, i regret that language, but i think the bigger point, senator, and i have noted is all morning, my unequivocal support of israel over the years, there has been no flip-flop on that. i have never voted against anything but israel's interests in every vote i cast in the u.s. senate. i have said it in my book. there are a special, historic ally and we will always support and defend them. i have said it in my speeches. there is no flip-flop on support of israel. >> is there a flip-flop on your calling the -- do you stand by your statement about hezbollah? >> i just said that i regretted it. >> do you stand by those words, or do you flip-flop? >> if i had a chance to edit, i
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would. gregg's that is what i'm talking about in terms of flip-flop. >> if i had a chance to edit a lot of things in my life, i would probably be fairly busy. and >> let me move on. a number of these concerns in 1998 in a senate hearing, you said that secretary of state madeleine albright had "tilted way too far toward israel in the middle east peace process." do you still think that of the peace process in 1998? >> i do not recall the event, the words. i do not know where that comes from or the context. again, senator, i go back years and years on different things i have said, but i do not recall what that context was, so i do not know. secretary albright has endorsed me, by the way, to be the next secretary of defense. i work very closely with secretary albright, as i do with the clinton administration
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in support of israel. >> in general at that time under the clinton administration, the you think that they were "and going way too far toward israel in the middle east peace process"? >> no, i do not, because i was very supportive of what the president did at the end of his term. in january of 2001, in fact, i recount that in my book. >> just to clarify, that is the sort of flip-flopper but i am talking about. that is what you said then, and you are changing you -- your mind now. >> that is not a flip-flop. i do not recall everything i have said in the past 25 years. if i could go back and change some of it, i would. but it does not discount the support i have always given israel and continue to give israel. >> and going to what you said today talking about iran as
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"illegitimate elected government" you think that the election of this iranian government coming to power was free, fair, and legitimate? >> i noted the term "legitimate" was not the term i should have used. i should have used recognized. that is the more appropriate term. i was referring to the fact that it is a nation that is a member of the united nations. it has embassies from all of our allies. it is a recognized nation. >> what about the word elected? he said "legitimate elected government." >> there was an election. kristie think that is a free and fair and legitimate election? >> that is not what i said. >> you said, "legitimate, elected government. of >> i just explained that i should have said recognized instead of legitimate. there was an election and there
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will be another one in june of this year for the president of iran. whether it is free and fair, i do not know. >> you have no expectations one way or another about that? >> i do know that iran is not exactly a model democracy. and it has not been. i do not have any expectations for a free and fair election. >> in 2008, you wrote that a nuclear iran might be tolerable because "sovereign nation states possessing nuclear weapons capability as opposed to stateless terrorist groups will often responds with some degree of responsible or at least, same behavior." is that still your hope or expectation about the government of iran? >> i'm not sure where the reference came from or the context. but what i was referring to was
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the different options that people will look at in regard to iran getting nuclear weapons. i have always said that iran must not get weapons of mass destruction. i have always said it is a sponsor of terrorism. i have always said the military option should remain on the table to assure that iran does not get to their weapons. -- nuclear weapons. >> in this statement you suggest that iran would maybe or hopefully respond in a responsible, or at least samne way. is that still your expectation of hope? >> i always hope that people will respond in a sane way. but that does not change the fact that it is a dangerous country to the united states and the entire world purdum >> --
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the entire world. >> after your statement, the iranian press noted with satisfaction dobbie "anti- israel heigl" and that is there a statement, not yours, why do you think they have that impression? >> first, it is not an accurate quote. >> it is an accurate quotation of the iran impress purdum >> it is not an accurate statement of my position. >> right, but why you think they have that impression? >> as i said earlier, have enough difficulty understanding american politics. i surely do not understand iranian politics. but if i might add, i also said there have been some rather
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significant israeli government leaders who said some pretty nice things about me, current israeli leaders. >> ok, thank you. >> senator kaine -- king. >> like all of the other increase interest today, i want to thank you for your service and particularly your willingness to put yourself through this process to serve your country once again. it is one of my life principles to never take a job where i would have to be confirmed by legislative body. [laughter] and you are doing it. i read one commentator that said, the fact that this guy was an enlisted man in vietnam is nice, but not significant. i think it is very significant. i am a bit of a student of the cuban missile crisis, the most dangerous moment this country has ever experienced. anyone who studies that time, it is hard to escape the conclusion
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again. it is one of my life principles tothat president kennedy's servs on the front lines in world war ii and chairman kershaw of's service during world war ii was of significance, their willingness to back away. most of the questions, probably 90% today have been about policy. but the reality is, policy comes from the president. you will certainly advise, but that is where policy comes from. i would like to ask your thoughts about management. you are about to take on the world's most cumbersome bureaucracy with a lot of headaches and problems and the budgetary challenges. share your thoughts with me about how you approach the management of the department of defense. >> senator, thank you. i note you were sitting there during the exchange i had with
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senator kaine about some of the spirit -- some of this. in answer to your question, i would pick up on a couple of those observations. first, i know you were also a governor. you both understand a lot of the pieces of this. no matter how big an organization is, there are still some fundamentals to leadership and management. as you have noted, the department of defense is the largest institution, certainly, in this country, and maybe the world. how do you try to manage your wealth? it is not about me. the secretary of defense, he leaves, he advises the president, but it is really about -- he leads, he advises the president, but it is really
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about the people who run the defense apparatus. that includes all of the officers. i think there are over 50 presidential appointees in the department of defense. obviously, there are uniformed military, 1.3 million of them. all of these people are required to manage the department. i think fundamental to me,as yoe department and then answered your question, it is accountability. we have had some discussions today about audits. all institutions must be accountable. elected officials are accountable. we are all accountable. and the emphasis on accountability i do not think could ever be overstated. you give managers flexibility, resources, but you give them direction and expectations. they have to be very clear, direct, and defined. but not to the point where you do not want their input and
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their ability to be flexible with their management. in my opinion, that is the key to anything, but surely it is the key to something as large as the department of defense. a number of questions were asked of me today about specific programs, submarine programs, different areas of technology and acquisitions, and our superior technology. i said i do not know enough about it. i do not. there are many things i do not know about. if confirmed, i intend to know a lot more than i do. i will have to. but at the same time, i would never think that, as i said earlier, this is about me or that i will be running anything. i will be the leader. i will be responsible. i will be accountable, but i've got to rely on the right teams, right people to bring those to get there. it is accountability and responsibility. i would stop there, if they give
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you some sense of how i would intend to do this business. >> my theory of leadership is to hire good people and take credit for what they do. >> [laughter] >> you are a guy from nebraska and in the army, so i imagine you do not get up in the morning and think about the navy. i hope to correct that in the next few years, particularly in maine and other parts of the country. there's a multi-year procurement program that is in jeopardy because of the budget situation. your feelings about multi-year procurement and maintaining the industrial base, which we just have to do if we will be able to maintain our force? >> governor, you probably know, and gov. kaine probably knows as well that there is such a thing as in nebraska navy. our governors make these distinguished appointments throughout their careers. our fleet is small, but miti. --
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mighty. that has been my early experience with the navy. the industrial base, a reference that with a couple of other comments i made earlier today in responding to questions. absolutely essential to our future that we maintain a strong, growing, credible military industrial base. do. for all the reasons that you understand. the survey, senator mccain does, being from virginia, -- certainly, senator kaine does being from virginia, as well as several others. how we prioritize our needs, how we account for an audit contracts, forward procurements, cost overruns, waste, fraud, and abuse -- all part of it. this will be more and more essential as we are dealing
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with, as you have noted, a restricted budget. maybe very restricted budget, depending on how things happen on sequestration. the navy is an indispensable part of our security apparatus. first commodity is the one visible projection of power -- first, it is the one visible projection of power that we have in the world. obviously, our rebalancing of resources in the asia-pacific region is some indication of that. persian gulf, we have been talking all day about iran, israel. but positively about iran in the persian will -- gulf. we have two battle groups in and out of that small area. the flexibility, agility, missile defense, nuclear, all of those capabilities are within the navy. i am a strong supporter of
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advancing our navy technology and our efforts, and i will continue to do that if confirmed. >> thank you, senator. i will have more questions at a later time. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator hagel, thank you for your tremendous service in europe provided to this country and your willingness to take on this challenge as secretary of defense, and for your stamina at this hearing all day. you will certainly need it as secretary of defense. i want to follow up on senator kean pose a question about the navy. it is very important to us in new hampshire as well. our four public shipyards are the backbone of our naval power. but according to the navy, there is a huge backlog of
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restoration and modernization projects at our shipyards. according to last year's number, the backlog was around $3 billion at portsmouth naval shipyard, which we are all concerned about. that number was $513 million. it is not cost-effective. for example, the 2010 gop report pointed out that the pure project at northrop, which i'm sure senator mccain -- kaine is familiar with, if it had been addressed earlier, it would have cost much less. now it will cost about $5 million. in fiscal year 2012, senator collins and i included an amendment in a bill that requires the shipyard modernization plan to address these shortfalls. the report is laid, but was
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promised in the upcoming budget submissions for fiscal year 2014 prepare will you commit to ensuring this modernization plan is produced? and would you commit to pressing and 80 the navy within the fiscal constraints that i appreciate, -- pressing the navy within the fiscal constraints that i appreciate, but ensuring that for the long term they continue to be very efficient and effective at our shipyards? >> yes, i will make the commitment to do everything i can to first, understand the specifics, which i do not know all the details. by your request -- but your request is preliminary to effective, efficient use of our resources, and planning our national security. i will make that commitment. if confirmed compaq -- if confirmed, i will get the
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details. i will assure that the navy response. >> thank you. and i'm sure others, and -- in -- and join with me in inviting you to come to see the shipyards as soon as you are confirmed. >> thank you. >> i know there has been -- a fair amount of discussion today about your involvement with an organization called global 0 and your position on nuclear weapons. i think it is worth quoting again what senator reid said about ronald reagan, who said that we seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. i think every president since modeled reagan has supported that aspirational goal, recognizing that at this point in time, it is a goal. certainly, that is what president obama said he
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supports, that someday -- probably not in this lifetime, but some day we should hope for a world that would be free of nuclear weapons. i have heard you say that you agree with those two statements prepared but do you also agree that as long as nuclear weapons exist, we have to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal to deter any adversary? >> yes, completely, absolutely. i have never had any position but that. as i indicated this morning and this afternoon, i will continue to take the position. as i said in my opening statement and an answer to other questions, our nuclear deterrent has probably been the core of keeping world peace and avoiding a world war iii. as long as there is the threat of nuclear weapons, and like you noted and president obama noted
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in his speech in 2009, it probably will not happen in our lifetime. but just as you noted, and in senator read's comments about what president reagan laid on the cape -- on the table in 1986, we need to keep working on it and moving forward and tempting to do it. -- attempting to do it. if you look at the different treaties we have done, we have brought those war had done, under republican and democratic administrations, bipartisan. what sam said this morning, he and his former colleagues, secretary kissinger, secretary shultz, secretary perry, hundreds of national leaders in the republican and democratic leaders -- administrations over the years have supported nuclear destruction -- nuclear weapons destruction. not unilateral, bilateral,
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negotiated, and verifiable. as ronald reagan said, trust but verify. nothing unilateral. >> thank you. another has been a lot of discussion about your comments relative to sanctions on iran and various options we might pursue with respect to iran and nuclear weapons. i wonder, again, if you would confirm what your position is on the president's current strategy of strong diplomacy, a tough international sanctions, and keeping all the options on the table. >> you have just defined president obama's strategy on iran, which i firmly support. it is the wise way to do it. i do not know if i mention this to you in our meeting, but i wrote a book in 2008 and i have a chapter on iran. i laid out all out in the chapter, as i have said.
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i do not think president obama went to my shafter and about his strategy on my chapter, but there is nothing in najaf during the house that i have never said that deviates from where the president is the military option -- from where the president is. the military option should always be on the table. it always should be the last option. aren't we wiser if we can accomplish our objectives without having to go to war? for everybody. >> i hope so. you referenced meeting we had last week, and i appreciated your coming in and talking about some of the statements that had been represented and that you have addressed today. one of those had to do with israel's security. again, i of this has been discussed at length during the day today. i wonder if again, you could
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reconfirm what your commitment is on israel and the security of israel in the middle east. >> my support of israel's security is and always has been very clear. i strongly support israel. the security of israel is a commitment that we made to israel in 1948 when israel was born under american leadership. harry truman. that commitment was -- is a bond that is more than just allied to outside. it is special, historical, -- more than ally to ally. it is special, historical. i have never equivocated from bat line. i have said this in my book. absolutely we will continue to do that. >> thank you very much. >> we are going to have a five-
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minute second round. and if we need a third round, which will house a third round. -- we will have a third round. i will try to take less than five minutes, so i can yield a couple of minutes if i still have them to center in off. earlier today, one of my colleagues made a statement i you had not responded to requests for copies of all of your speeches and to a request about contributions to certain organizations, i believe, the u.s. either served or spoken to. you did not have the opportunity -- that you either serve or spoken to. you did not have the opportunity to respond to that time. if you wish, you may respond for the record. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i will respond for the record.
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as far as i know, and i asked again at the brainport -- at the break of our counsel, we have responded to all requests, or are in the process of responding to every single request. some of these requests and did not come in until yesterday, specifically the financial documentation request, copies of my speeches came in late. we have given the committee every copy of every speech that i have that is out there. every video that i have that is out there. on paid speeches, most everyone of those paid speeches, in the contract is says that they are private and not videotaped. it was not my decision. that was the contract of the group i spoke to.
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i believe every paid speech i gave i did not howff a prepared text. i gave it extemporaneously, which is something i have been doing since long before i left the senate. we are filling every legal commitment. i have complied with every ethical request. i always have. i did when i was in the senate. i will continue to do with now. we are doing it now there were one or two times when you did not have the opportunity to reply to a question. in order to not use all my time, you should feel free to do that for the record. we will keep this record open until close of business tomorrow for questions. and for your answers, close of business monday. which means 5:00 p.m. tomorrow for questions for the record, 5:00 p.m. on monday for your responses to questions for the
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record. at that time, would you give us the update on any additional documents, speeches, or information that you have been requested to provide that you have not yet been able to buy is in the works? >> i will, and i have committed and will continue to commit to complying with every legal document, a legal requirement. corexit thank you. i hope i have a minute or two to yield to the center. >> i will have to hurry this up a little bit. it is less time than i thought we had. it was mentioned that one of the members of your thought i was being disrespectful during the time i was questioning you. it was at the time that i made the statement that you have been endorsed by the ministry of iran for your nomination to be secretary of defense. do you consider that to be it
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disrespectful motion on my part? >> no, it is a legitimate question. >> thank you. i have been a leader on postponing any further abrams tanks or f-16's and us -- to egypt until the government is under control this is the representing my thoughts. there was a vote a little while ago to do away permanently with the sending of any of this equipment to egypt. i do not think that is a good idea. what i think is a good idea is to continue to use that as leverage. if you do that, you lose the leverage. i believe we will be in a position right now, enda morsi has already distanced himself from the military. that is a good step. i think we could reinstate a friend in that area.
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i would ask you whether you would agree with my statement i came out with a long time ago, or my bill, i guess i should say, and that i reintroduced in a stronger way today, saying that we would withhold this equipment sending to egypt until such time as these conditions are met. and i mention the conditions being the accord at camp david and that type of thing. would you consider that? >> that is a policy that the president of the united states would have to consider. if he asked my guys, i would give it to him. but to the bigger question, i think is important that our assistance to egypt be conditional. they play an absolutely critical role in fulfilling the commitment of camp david and the security of israel.
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>> we are almost out of time right now. i appreciate an answer. you made a statement that i strongly disagree with. you said the president of obama has been the strongest israeli supporter since 1948. i have a hard time with that. i know he is not up for confirmation. you are. but when you see statements coming at of the administration like the united states believes that negotiations should result in two states with permanent palestinian borders with israel, jordan, and egypt, and they've come out with statements saying they believe that the borders with israel and palestine should be based on a 1967 border lines, these are statements that i think are very damaging. i can assure you that the leadership in israel feels those statements are damaging. do you still feel this president has been the strongest supporter of israel since 1948? >> i do, and i will tell you
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quickly wide. first, the 2006 quartet principles that president bush laid down coverage most of the points that you have made. i supported president bush then, and still do in what he did in developing those principles. when you look at the assistance this administration has given to israel, the most significant and largest military to military exercise and challenge to the israeli u.s. forces last fall, the money we put into the iron dome, the president's position of "we've got your back." >> that is fine. i appreciate it. one other thing before run out of time, something you are interested in. you were a co-sponsor of the defense act of 1999, and i was, too. we agreed then.
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times have changed since then. at that time, people thought having the capabilities was confined to the u.s.s.r. at that time, or russia, and the united states. a lot has happened since then. at one of the things i disagree with most in the first budget that the president had -- this president had is when he did with the ground-based interceptor site in poland. -- and did away with the ground- based interceptor site in poland. most people agree that we still have adequate protection on the west coast. it is the east coast, and our intelligence still says today, that iran will have the weapons capability and the delivery capability by 2015. that is why it was supposed to be there. now there is a discussion saying, to cover the boy, we
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need to have a third site. -- cover that point, we need to have a third site. do you support that? >> i am aware of the authorization and instruction for a third site in the environmental impact statement. i do not know enough of the details. if confirmed, i will get into it. but to respond to that, which i will for the record, i just do not know enough about it. >> i think is very significant and i think most people are looking at this with a void. you have a timeframe between now to 2015. nobody disputes the capability that they will house in that time. it is not been classified. there is still a void of the six years between what we have in capability and what needs to be in place.
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i hope you'll come back and support the third sight. the last thing, if you'll forgive me, mr. chairman, when the senator talk to you about your efforts in choosing and her expectations on your being involved in using the department of defense for all statement. i do not know enough of these environmental things, i would suggest you that is why we have a department of energy. and when i ask you a question, would refrain from doing the things that have been done in the past in his administration, such as forcing the navy to pay $26 per gallon for 450,000 gallons of fuel that you can buy for $3 and other things, it is billions of dollars that we are paying that we could be using for war fighting. i see an inconsistency in your answer to me, and in your answer to the senator from hawaii. >> my answer to the senator from hawaii, and i believe you can
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read it back, was that i am committed to all of the efficiencies we can find in the department of defense that are in the interest of our country. i did not commit to any one program. >> or any program that would be a costly program on experimentation, such as these programs i just mentioned. clearly, they are in the jurisdiction of the department of energy and they are the ones who is supposed to be doing it. don't you agree that we should confine ourselves to enhancing our war fighter capabilities? >> well, of course, but within that round, certainly, the kind of money that we spend on fuel, as you noted, that should include some sense of that, but also whether there are other things we can do within research
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and technology inside the department of defense. it just makes sense. >> we should come as a government, but that is what the department of energy should be doing. when you suggest a high cost of fuel, yes, it is a high cost because we are paying 10 times as much as we would have to pay, money that we could be putting toward our were fighting efforts. that is my point. >> yes, i agree, but why would we not look all options if we have the kind of sophisticated research and technology that the department of defense does and how -- has possession of? i do not know anything more specific to or central to our security than energy. >> i know my time is expired, but we are spending literally millions, actually some billions of dollars, on some of these experimentations that again are not in the purview of this. right now, we are installing 139 f-35's that we just recently put off. if they put them off indefinitely, that is just a cut. those are things we should be doing right now. we are looking at the ohio class
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of. we should be doing that right now. if we are spending and the environmental causes is what the department of energy should be doing. when you suggest a high cost of fuel, yes, it is a high cost because we are paying 10 times as much as we would have to pay, money that we could be putting toward our were fighting efforts. that is my point. >> yes, i agree, but why would we not look all on war fighting, apparently, you do not agree with that. >> i will commit this to you, senator. as i said to the senator from hawaii, if i'm confirmed, i will look at all of these programs. i will have to. >> thank you. senator manchin. corexit i feel like i want to apologize for some of the tone and demeanor today. with that being said, if i could ask you this, since we are so -- again, talking about things you have done and said over the years -- how did you get to vietnam? were you ordered to go to vietnam? were you sent there? how were your orders?
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>> well, actually, i got to vietnam through kind of an interesting route. i volunteered for the draft. as my brother did a month after me. during that time in 1967, the draft was coming down with pretty heavy levy, as you recall. >> i was there. >> and i know your story. they would not take you, not because you were not smart enough, of course, but because of your knees. you tried to bribe your way in, but they still will not let you. i admire your effort. and i know your story. i went to basic training, advanced infantry training. my brother followed me everywhere a month after me. after advanced infantry training, i was selected to be one of nine first-class then top-secret shoulder fired heat seeking a so-called "the red eye gun." at the time, it was classified
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and it was built to bring down low-flying soviet-made -- soviet migs flying over germany. we went entrain for two months. it was all classified. we could not get calls in a route. all nine of us were quietly ordered to go and were integrated into nato units without any fanfare or anyone knowing about it. i got my orders to go to germany. i went to fort dix, new jersey in november, 1967. my eight fellow soldiers and i were getting packed upper -- packed up to go to germany. i just decided, if i was going to be in the military, it did not make much sense to go to germany. i had never been to germany. my great grandparents are from germany.
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probably a pretty good place, i thought, but i ought to go where there is a war. i took my orders down to pioli, told him i was private hagel and here were my orders anna i was told to go to germany and i wanted to go to vietnam. the office was a bit quiet. they brought in priests, rabbis, ministers, psychiatrists. they all came in to examine me, thinking something was wrong. i was running away from something or i had killed somebody. after two days of testing need to see that i was ok, they held me. i scrubbed the barracks for five days before they could cut new orders. they gave me new orders to go to vietnam. they sent me home for five days and then on to travis air force base in san francisco. i got to vietnam in december,
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1967. >> there is no reason anyone of us should ever be concerned about your willingness to do anything you possibly can to defend this country against all foreign enemies, wherever they may be. >> well, i hope not. we can disagree on policy. but i think my life and my commitment to this country is pretty clear. i am proud of it. >> and i would say that israel, this box peaceful -- the spokespeople for israel support you. they have come to me and told me that. have they told you that? >> there are many israeli groups that have formally supported me. i'm grateful. >> and it sounds like iran has wishful thinking. >> evidently, iran supports me. >> the president has asked you to support -- to serve at this level, so he has confidence in you. >> the president did ask me to serve. i said in my opening statement i
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am grateful that and honored by -- by the trust and confidence and will do everything in my power never to do anything that would disabuse that confidence from this country. >> as you see the role of secretary of defense, and i know we have talked about it and you have been question on policy, and i know you will not be in a policy position. you will be basically following policy, not making policy. but if you could wrap it up, what we should expect from your position as secretary of defense -- >> thank you. if i am confirmed, as i noted in my opening comments, i would see this relationship as a partnership. i will need your help. i will need your advice and collaboration. many people on this authorization committee have a great deal of experience in this business. many far more than i do, as is
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the case in the congress, both the senate and house. i will need that. i will call upon that. i will not be in a policymaking position, as you know. i have also committed to all of you, and all of you who have served with me know this, i will always be honest with you. you never have to worry about that. i will listen to you. i'm sure we will not always agreed. but i will say it straight and i will give you and the president my honest, most informed advice, always. >> thank you. and i will say one more thing. where i come from there is an old saying that goes, i cannot change your mind, you cannot change anything. -- if you cannot change your mind, you cannot change anything. >> senator hagel, you are holding up well. but it is an important office
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and you have asked to meet our defense department. i know you know the seriousness of that and is exceedingly important. you have to know, and in particular recent years there has been tension within the congress over a number of issues, one of them is national defence. that is a subcommittee i am a member of and we have wrestled with that over the years. and we have pretty consistently had a bipartisan congressional vote on those issues. we have voted again this year unanimously on the armed services defense authorization bill. unanimous out of committee under chairman of an's committee, and senator mccain. i was looking today at the national journal. the obama administration is moving to begin new u.s.-russia talks on the drawdown of the nation's nuclear arsenals. that has also been an issue of concern.
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but i believe we have been staying fairly bipartisan and unified on that. your report is what causes a great deal of concern. this study of the global 0 group. i would note that vice president biden is set to meet with the russian foreign minister this weekend during the munich security conference. national security adviser tom bolon will have to moscow in february. -- tom donelon will go to moscow in february. and the president will begin to call for the deployment of strategic nuclear arsenals involving 700 delivery systems. as i read the global 0 report that you co-authored less than a year ago, you call for the
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elimination of all icbm's, all tactical nuclear weapons, most of the bombers, 67 b-52's @ eliminated, leaving only 80 bombers and submarines. it looks like you are down to about 28 delivery systems. this is of dramatic concern. there are worries on capitol hill that the administration could revise its missile shield strategy, or go ahead with cutbacks to the u.s. stockpile as a means to draw russia into negotiations, foreign policy magazine reported, ahead of the unannounced discussions. the house subcommittee chairman mike rogers asks if they have
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assurances as to what is going on there. i would note that last year's defense authorization villepin -- bill calls for briefings on his discussions to the congress, the servant -- the armed services committee and subcommittee. it does not less than twice each year, the president or his designee will brief the committee on foreign relations and the committee on armed services about the dialogue between the u.s. and the russian federation on issues of limits or controls of nuclear arms, missile defense system, and long-range conventional strike systems. the deadline for that would be march 2 this year. my first question to you, if
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confirmed, will you honor that request as part of the mdaa? >> the request for the briefing? >> yes, the requirements for the briefing. will you keep congress advise on any discussions dealing with national defense and dialogue with russia on national missile defense and nuclear arms, and long-range conventional strike systems? >> yes, i commit to do that. >> also, it is the sense of the congress that any agreement between the united states and the russian federation dealing with nuclear arms or missile defense systems or long-range conventional strike systems obligating the u.s. to reduce our armed forces or armaments of the united states in any militarily significant manner may be made only pursuant to the